ROBERT W. HELDING, 1LT, USMC
Robert Helding '48
Date of birth: March 15, 1924
Date of death: February 18, 1952
From the 1948 Lucky Bag:
From McKinney Daily Courier-Gazette (Texas) on February 20, 1952:
The Corpus Christi air station has identified the six Navy airmen who were killed when two training planes collided in mid-air near Rockport, Tex. Victims were listed as Ensign Mahlon Devere Busha, Jr.. of Sherwood. Ore.; Lieut. Cmdr. M alter Thomas Fitzpatrick. Jr.. Texarkana, Lieut. (JG) Frederick Eugene Arthur of Redwood. Calif., Ensign Neil August Armstrong II of Chalmette, La., First Lieut. Robert Wendell Helding, Marine Corps, Janesville, Wis., and Lt. (JG) Frederick Jeffrie Blodgett of St. Paul, Minn.
The crash was on February 18, 1952.
From researcher Kathy Franz:
Robert served at Guam for 18 months and was given flying training at Pensacola where he received his wings on January 24. He was assigned to Corpus Christi for four more months training.
He graduated from William Horlick High School and was married to Doris M. Preshek on September 4, 1948.
He had a military memorial service in Corpus Christi. After a full military funeral, he was buried in West Lawn Memorial Cemetery, Mount Pleasant, Racine, Wisconsin.
He was survived by his wife, parents Mr. O. C. (Chris) and Mrs. Martha Helding, one brother Norman, and sister Elizabeth (Mrs. Kenneth Goepfert) of Racine. His father was a toolmaker for the telephone company in 1930, was a foreman for a farm implement manufacturer in 1940, and head of the engineering department for Parker Pen Company for the next 15 years. He died in 1957, and his wife in 1960. They are both buried in West Lawn Memorial Cemetery, too.
Frederick Blodgett '49 was also lost in this crash.