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Robert F Layher
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Birth: Sep. 3, 1916
Death: Nov. 17, 2006

Last Name: Layher
First Name: Robert F.
Nickname: Bob
Born/Died September 3,1916 / November 17, 2006
Hometown: Born in Dallas, OR but raised in Otis, CO
Squadron: Second Squadron, Panda Bears
Position: Flight Leader
Victories 2 shared, 3 probable
Decorations: Army/Navy/Air Force 1st Grade, 2nd Class Medal presented by the Chinese government; Distinguished Flying Cross

Pre AVG: Naval airforce, patrol plane commander VP-12 in San Diego

AVG Service: Sailed in September, 191, and trained in Toungoo, Burma. Sent to Rangoon on December 28, 1941, and returned to Kunming in late February 1942. Sent to Karachi, India, to bring planes to China. Ordered to spend 3 weeks in Assam flying reconnaissance for evacuation of Burma. Was then sent back to China and flew bombing missions against bridges along the Burma Road. Sent to Chunking in June 1942, until AVG disbanded. Spent an extra 2 weeks in Kweilin helping the China Task Force get organized.

Post AVG, WWII: Rejoined the Navy upon return to New York and flew as a Captain with American Export Airlines in the naval diplomatic run for the duration of the war. Flew a Sikorsky S-44. After the war, flew with American Airline on North Atlantic route which was purchased by Pan Am. Resigned in 1946.

Post War Career: Returned to Colorado and later to Kansas. Went into farming and ranching.

MONDAY, JULY 23, 2007
Mr. MORAN of Kansas. Madam Speaker, today I rise to express my admiration of a Kansan's life--a life filled with honor and service to country, community and family. Mr. Robert ``Bob'' Layher of Hays, Kansas, a member of the ``Greatest Generation,'' lived life with integrity, passion and enthusiasm.
Like so many young Americans of his generation, Bob put country before self and joined the U.S. military. Bob proudly fought for freedom during World War II, though he began serving prior to the start of the war. He was among those who resigned their U.S. military positions in order to volunteer for a covert operation with the Chinese Air Force before the U.S. entered the war. For his service in China as a member of The Flying Tigers, Bob was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Bob's dedication to those he served with and his presentation of their memories was unsurpassed. While the history and service of The Flying Tigers is well known in China, few in our country know about the courage and heroism of these men. Bob took a lead role in making certain that his community knew about The Flying Tiger's mission of protecting China's important Burma Road from Japanese attacks.
He was also involved in national education of The Flying Tigers. Appearing in stories and presenting at schools, he shared the history of this brave group of volunteers. During trips back to the area where they were stationed, members of The Flying Tigers found the need for education about their group was much less necessary in China. The idea that Americans would volunteer to defend another country all for the sake of freedom made a great impression on the Chinese.
While Bob was born and raised outside of Kansas, our State was lucky to have him settle here and begin farming after his military service. Bob was born in Dallas, Oregon, on September 3, 1916. He graduated from the University of Colorado where he also met his wife, Marian. In 1941, 4 days before he left for China, he and Marian were secretly married. This was also the same day as his birthday, so this way Bob would never forget their anniversary.
A very involved member of his community, Bob participated in several civic groups. After he moved to Hays in 1952, Bob became a member of the First Presbyterian Church and the Order of the Eastern Star. He was also a member of the ISIS Shrine and the Masonic Lodge in Salina.
Most important to Bob was his family. Over the course of their 65 years of marriage, he and his wife were committed parents and grandparents. Bob's son, R.F. ``Bobby'' Layher Jr., followed in his father's footsteps and served as a pilot with United States Marine Corps. Even though Bobby went on to be a civilian pilot with Federal Express for 29 years, Bob and his son were still able to fulfill their dream of farming together.
In the many important roles Bob filled in his life, he served out of a sense of duty and not out of selfish ambition. He helped make his community better and his nation safer. I join his many friends and admirers in paying tribute to a great man. My thoughts and prayers go out to Marian and her family during this time of loss.

Fort Hays Memorial Gardens
Ellis County
Kansas, USA
Created by: Loren Bender
Record added: Oct 06, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42758475
Robert F Layher
Added by: Loren Bender
Robert F Layher
Added by: Loren Bender
Robert F Layher
Added by: William Wayne Metcalf
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Ensign R. F. Layher, USNR, designated Naval Aviator #6656 in 1940.
- Mike Weeks
 Added: Jun. 13, 2012

- Larry Chenault
 Added: Sep. 12, 2010
Rest In Peace
- Loren Bender
 Added: Oct. 6, 2009

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