Bob Underbrink graduated from Jacksonville High School in 1944 and was soon drafted into the Army, where he served as a tanker in Patton's famed 3rd Army. He arrived at the front in April, 1945 as the war was coming to an end. After a short time in Czechoslovakia, he served in the occupation army until August, when he was sent to the Shrivenham (England) American University, a temporary institution staffed by American professors.
He Shot Himself in the Foot
Interview Session 01 (Audio)
Early life, army training, and arrival in Europe in March, 1945
Interview Session 02 (Audio)
The USS General William Weigel, the troopship in which Robert Underwood’s unit was shipped to Europe in March, 1945, arriving at LeHarve. Like so many of the troops, Underwood got seasick en route.
This image is considered to be in the public domain
Late in his life, Underbrink often wrote articles that appeared in the Jacksonville Journal Courier. He was so moved by this photo of two marines protecting an Okinawa child during the brutal campaign to seize Okinawa that he wrote an article about it.
This image is considered to be in the public domain.
Robert Underbrink is reading some of the scores of letters he wrote to his mother during the time he was overseas in 1945 to 1946. This was during a trip to Springfield in November 16, 2016, some seventy years after they were written.
ALPL Springfield, Illinois
November 16, 2016