Robert W. Garwick was born in New York on May, 17th, 1921. In Rye his family lived on Oakwood Avenue. Robert’s residence consisted of his father Walter, his mother Ruth, his older sisters Mary and Helen. Robert’s father had an 8th grade education, and worked as an electrician. Robert’s mother had a high school education and was a homemaker.
Robert was an active member of the Rye High School class of 1938. Roberts’s athletics included varsity football, varsity track, and varsity basketball. Robert had a leadership role during junior year, he was the home room treasurer. Robert also participated in chess club, and was a member of the National Honor Society.
Following high school Robert "Bob" enrolled in college, and received a 4 year degree before being drafted in 1942 into the US Army Air Corps. Throughout World War II, Robert Flew B-26 Aircraft In 391st Bomb Group, 574 Bomb Squad, 9th Air Force.
The 391st Bombardment Group was created on 15 Jan 1943 and activated on 21 Jan. Bob trained with Martin B-26 Marauder's for duty in Europe with Ninth AF. His group moved to England, Jan-Feb 1944 and entered combat on 15 Feb 1944. During the ensuing weeks they bombed targets such as airfields, marshalling yards, bridges, and V-weapon sites in France and the Low Countries to help prepare for the invasion of Normandy.
Bob also attacked enemy defenses along the invasion beaches on June 6 and 7 1944. From Jun to Sep, his group continued cross-
Channel operations, which included attacks on fuel dumps and troop concentrations in support of Allied forces during the breakthrough in July 1944, and strikes on transportation and communications to block the enemy’s retreat to the east.
Bob began flying missions from bases on the Continent in Sep 1944. The 391st Bomb Group extended its area of operations into Germany and continued its attacks against enemy railroads, highways, troops, bridges, ammunition dumps, and other targets.
Bob and his group contributed vital assistance to ground forces during the Battle of the Bulge by attacking heavily defended positions such as bridges and viaducts, December 23-26 1944; for these missions, performed without fighter escort in the face of intense flak and overwhelming attacks by enemy aircraft, the group was awarded a DUC.
From Jan to May 1945, and using A-26s beginning in Apr, the group concentrated its attacks on the German transportation and communications system. Bob’s unit flew its last mission on May 3rd. it was redesignated 391st Bombardment Group Light in July returned to the US in Oct and inactivated on 25 Oct 1945.
Bob flew 68 missions and was awarded the Air Medal 13 times. American Medal and 12 Oak Leaf Clusters, European Theater Ribbon with 2 Battle Stars, WWII Victory Medal
Robert Wiatt Garwick (Bob), a noted Texas oil man and WWII B-26 Bomber pilot, father and husband, passed away in Temple, Texas, Wednesday, April 18th, 2007. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on May 17th, 1921. He grew up in Rye, New York, attending Rye High School where he was a member of the National Honor Society. He received his Bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College. He was a pilot in the 9th Army Air Corps, assigned to the 391st Bomb Group, completing 68 combat missions in the European Theater; the recipient of multiple decorations and citations for heroism and mission accomplishment, flying his B-26, "Powerful Katrinka."
After the war, he returned to New York, earning a Master's degree in Geology at Columbia University. He traveled to Ethiopia to do exploration for the Sinclair Oil Company in 1946. Upon returning from Africa he accepted a position with General Crude Oil Company and moved his family to Houston, Texas. He was largely responsible for the completion of over 1,000 oil wells and the discovery of several currently producing oil and gas fields in Texas and the Gulf Coast region.
Throughout his life, Bob was a devoted outdoors man and dedicated hobbyist. His hobbies included painting, deep sea and fly fishing, hunting, hawking, bird dog field training, vegetable gardening, breeding of exotic fishes, slot car racing, model airplanes and historical figures, woodworking, fly tying, beer and wine making. He embraced the PC computer early in its existence starting out with a TRS 80 in the early 1980s.
His interest in the genealogy of his family was a lifelong passion. He succeeded in tracing his family roots back to 1066 CE. During his search, he connected with families and genealogists worldwide. He continued to correspond with these friends throughout his life.
He was preceded in death by his father Walter Cleveland Garwick; mother Ruth Beryl Wiatt, two sisters Mary Louise Heffernan and Helen Elizabeth O'Keefe, and grandson Walter Wiatt Garwick. He was survived by his wife of more than 64 years, Catherine O'Keefe Garwick, formerly of Harrison, New York; his 8 children & spouses Erin Bryant-Bains of Houston, Texas, Ken & Charla Garwick of Lakeway, Texas, Brigadier General James & Lydia Dougherty of Canyon Lake, Texas, Lorin Garwick of Houston, Texas, Carrie Garwick & Chris Randall or Austin, Texas, Gael & Brian Burke of Salado, Texas, Guy & Alison Garwick of Houston, Texas, and Matthew Garwick & Rick Hansen of Miami Beach, Florida; 17 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
ROBERT W. GARWICK FLEW B-26 AIRCRAFT IN 391ST BOMB GROUP, 574 BOMB SQUAD, 9TH AIR FORCE. FLEW 68 MISSIONS AND WAS AWARDED THE AIR MEDAL 13 TIMES. AMERICAN MEDAL AND 12 OAK LEAF CLUSTERS, EUROPEAN THEATER RIBBON WITH 2 BATTLE STARS, WWII VICTORY MEDAL391st Bombardment GroupConstituted as 391st Bombardment Group Medium on 15 Jan 1943 and activated on 21 Jan. Trained with B-26s for duty in Europe with Ninth AF. Moved to England, Jan-Feb 1944. Entered combat on 15 Feb 1944 and during the ensuing weeks bombed targets such as airfields, marshalling yards, bridges, and V-weapon sites in France and the Low Countries to help prepare for the invasion of Normandy. Attacked enemy defenses along the invasion beaches on 6 and 7 Jun 1944. From Jun to Sep, continued cross-Channel operations, which included attacks on fuel dumps and troop concentrations in support of Allied forces during the breakthrough at St Lo in Jul 1944, and strikes on transportation and communications to block the enemys retreat to the east. Began flying missions from bases on the Continent in Sep 1944, extending its area of operations into Germany and continuing its attacks against enemy railroads, highways, troops, bridges, ammunition dumps, and other targets. Contributed vital assistance to ground forces during the Battle of the Bulge by attacking heavily defended positions such as bridges and viaducts, 23-26 Dec 1944; for these missions, performed without fighter escort in the face of intense flak and overwhelming attacks by enemy aircraft, the group was awarded a DUC. From Jan to May 1945, and using A-26s beginning in Apr, the group concentrated its attacks on the German transportation and communications system. Flew its last mission on 3 May. Redesignated 391st Bombardment Group Light in Jul. Returned to the US in Oct. Inactivated on 25 Oct 1945. ROBERT W. GARWICK Rye High School Graduate, class of 1938
ROBERT W. GARWICK - BOB GARWICK, a noted Texas Oilman and WWII Army Air Corps. Bomber Pilot passed away in Temple Texas on Wednesday, April 18th. The memorial service will be held at Heartfield Funeral Home (254-939-2411) at 503 N Main St, Belton, TX on the 23rd April 2007. Arrive at 11am for 11:30am service. Interment is at the Texas State Veteran's Cemetery in Killeen TX at 2pm. A reception will follow at St. Stephen Catholic Church Salado, TX at 4pm. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in the name of Robert W. Garwick to Vista Care 2626B S. 37th Street, Temple, TX 76504.