|Birth: ||Jun. 6, 1921|
|Death: ||Mar. 18, 2008|
Col. Robert B. Spielman
U.S. Army Retired Robert Blake Spielman, age 86, of Austin passed away on Tuesday, March 18, 2008. He was born June 6, 1921, in Leigh, Iowa, to Elmo and Leona Blake Spielman.
Robert, a retired Colonel from the US Army, was a POW during WWII in the Philippine theatre and was awarded the silver and bronze stars. He was Commandant of the 4162nd USAR School in Austin and a retired teacher with the Austin Public School District.
He is survived by his wife, Lucy Spielman; his son, Paul Spielman; his daughter, Margaret Spielman; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Graveside services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 25th at the Dallas/Ft. Worth National Cemetery.
On 4 Apr 1943, American Air Corps pilots 2LT Samuel Grashio and LTC William Dyess, US Army Air Corps Officer 2LT Leo Boelens, USMC officers 1LT Michiel Dobervich, CPT Austin Shofner and 1LT Jack Hawkins, US Navy LCDR Melvin McCoy, US Coast Artillery MAJ Steve M Mellnik, US Army Sergeants Paul H Marshall and Robert Spielman, along with two Filipinos were able to escape from a POW work camp, Davao Region, in the Philippines. Over the course of the next few months, 7 were transported a few at a time by submarine to Australia while 3 stayed behind to continue fighting with the guerrillas. Leo Boelens, was eventually killed by the Japanese.
This was the only successful mass escape from a Japanese POW camp. Along with recon information provided by these men, they also provided some of the first reports of the atrocities inflicted upon US military personnel by the Japanese.
Stephen M Mellnik retired as a BG, US Army.
Melvyn Harvey McCoy retired as a Rear Admiral, US Navy.
Jack Hawkins retired as a COL, US Marine Corps.
Austin Conner Shofner retired as a BG, US Marine Corps.
William Dyess, LTC was killed during the war in California trying to make a emergency landing. Abilene Army Air Base, Abilene, Texas was renamed Dyess Air Force Base in honor of this man.
Samuel Charles Grashio retired as a COL, US Air Force,
Paul Herman Marshall
Leo A Boelenes 2LT, US Army, eventually found by the Japanese and killed.
Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery
Plot: Section 6 Site 640
Maintained by: svanwyk
Originally Created by: DonZas
Record added: Mar 30, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25633624
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