|Pilot Lt. Col. Robert B. Westbrook, O-424187 (MIA / KIA) Hollywood, CA
MIA November 22, 1944
Westbrook was the
highest scoring ace in the 13th Air Force with 20 kills while assigned to the 347th Fighter Group. He earned the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with 15 Oak Leaf Clusters.
Built by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation (LAC) in Burbank, California. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas and reassembled.
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 347th Fighter Group, 339th Fighter Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
On November 22, 1944 took off from Middleburg Airfield on a strafing mission over Celebes (Sulawesi). Over the target, this aircraft was shot down strafing a 140' Japanese gunboat in Makassar Harbor on the western side of the island.
Westbrook was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Westbrook also has a memorial marker at San Fernando Cemetery #3 in San Antonio, TX.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert B. Westbrook
LtCol Robert B Westbrook (photos)
FindAGrave - Robert B. "Westy" Westbrook, Jr (memorial marker photo)
Nebraska State Journal by AP December 20, 1944
"Lt. Col. Robert B. Westbrook, 27, Hollywood, Calif., air ace, with 20 enemy planes definitely to his credit, was killed Nov. 22 while making a strafing run against a gunboat with was escorting two Japanese freighters."
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September 25, 2018