Place of migration
Migrated to/Born in USA

Robert Joseph Tehan was the son of John Francis Tehan and Martin Tehan.  Robert's grandfather Martin had immigrated to America in 1883 with his wife and seven children which included Robert's father, John.  He was born in Columbia, Missouri and was the son of John's second wife Genevieve Elizabeth Noonan.  He had 5 other siblings and five half sisters, two of which died in infancy.  After his father's death, Robert and his siblings were placed in Catholic orphanages in St. Louis, Missouri because his mother could not take care of all the children during the Great Depression.  He went to St. Louis University High School in St. Louis, Missouri.  Robert went through navigator & pilot training at Pensacola, Florida.  After earning his wings, he joined the VPB-107 in Natal Brazil flying missions to hunt down German U-boats.  His crew flew on a B-24 bomber named "The Spirit of 83".  After several missions, Robert, his commander and a crew of 10 pursued three German U-boats.  Two German U-boats were coming to the rescue of a damaged U-boat from a previous encounter with the bomber unit.  One of the U-boats submerged while the other two submarines manned their guns and stayed on the surface. The damaged U-boat crew was in the process of being rescued when the B-24 started their bomb run.  This submarine that was being scuttled but was able to open fire with the rescuing submarine.  On the second bomb run the B-24 was shot down and all the crew went down with the plane.  This encounter took place between Natal, Brazil & Ascension Island on August 11, 1943. Robert and the crew are listed on the World War II East Coast Memorial in Battery Park in New York City, New York.

Additional Information
Date of Birth 18th Nov 1921
Date of Death 11th Aug 1943

References

1930 United States Federal Census USA /ireland/westmeath/message-board-answers/i-looked-1930-us-census

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