From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Robert Glessner '42

Date of birth: December 2, 1919

Date of death: December 24, 1944

Age: 25

Naval Academy Register

Robert Donaldson Glessner was admitted to the Naval Academy from Pennsylvania on June 10, 1938 at age 18 years 6 months.

He resigned on February 10, 1940 because he was “deficient in studies, first term’s work. Recommended to be dropped. Permitted to resign.”


From Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York) on February 14, 1945:

Lt. Robert D. Gleason Killed Over China

Lt. Robert D. Glessner, 25, fighter pilot son of the late Col. H. Hall T. Glessner, USA, and Mrs. Glessner… was killed in action Dec. 24 over China. Lieutenant Glessner, whose wife, Eleanor Wallace Glessner, lives at 116 Trafalgar St., was a student at Annapolis, which he had entered in 1939, when he was assigned to the China-Burma-India theater in 1942. Pilot of a Mustang with the Chinese-American Composite Wing of the 14th Air Force, he held the Purple Heart for wounds received in Tunisia. He also wore the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the British Award of Merit and the Presidential Unit Citation. Before passing the entrance examinations to Annapolis, Lieutenant Glessner had attended Balboa High School in Balboa, Panama, and Dandall's Preparatory School, Washington, D.C.

He was piloting a P-40N Warhawk (not a Mustang) when he was lost approximately 8 miles south of Nanyo, Japan. He was a member of the 27th Fighter Squadron, 5th Fighter Group, Chinese-American Composite Wing, 14th Air Force, based in China.

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery; internment occurred in November 1947.

Class of 1942

Robert is one of 82 members of the Class of 1942 on Virtual Memorial Hall.