Robert N. Hoskinson, 778th
15 June 2009
Bob and Luna Hoskinson|
Robert "Bob" N. Hoskinson, 83, of Louisville, Kentucky,
died on Monday, 15 June 2009, a few months after suffering a spinal fracture.
Bob and his wife of 65 years, Luna, first met as pen pals in 1945.
A school friend gave Bob's address to Luna and the couple began corresponding after Bob
had enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Bob took Luna to the movies on their first date - during one
of his military leaves. While on his last leave home, while he was still stationed in the United
States, the young couple each met the other's parents. Bob proposed to Luna before shipping
out overseas to serve in the war.
During World War II, Bob served as a tailgunner on E Burroughs
Crew in the 778th Squadron of the 464th Bombardment Group (Heavy) in the Army Air Corps.
He flew 53 missions and 32 sorties. (It was counted as a sortie any
time the airplane was in the air for anything other than a mission, such as for surveillance.)
He served 8 months overseas. Bob was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and
other commendations for his service in the USAAC.
Upon his return to the states in 1945, Bob was assigned to a base
in Florida where they made good use of his speed typing skills. He performed clerical duties
until he left the service in November of 1945.
Bob and Luna were married 24 November 1945. He went back to work
at Selman's Department Store, where he had worked when he was 14 years old. He also
worked at B&B Novelty, refurbishing pool tables. His next job was with Emery Air Freight.
He worked there as a supervisor until he had a heart attack at age 40. After leaving Emery,
Bob went to work for a another freight company. He was later employed by the Naval
Ordnance - where he worked for another 20 years - until his retirement in 1987.
As members of a local league, Bob and Luna bowled together for 20 years.
They also enjoyed golf. Bob liked to "dabble" in the stock market and he was
an enthusiastic coin collector.
After his retirement, Bob taught himself how to use a computer and
had become quite a "computer whiz." He contributed photos, the 464th Bomb
Group Pantanella newsletters, the MACRs, the NMRs and numerous other items of historical
documentation and research which are still featured on the 464th website at zplace2b.com.
He was not only an unofficial historian for the Group, he was also the co-webmaster of the
464th's web site since 2002. Bob helped many families find information about their loved
ones via the data he provided on the web site and by email. He gave them sound guidance
to help them to accomplish their research.
Bob is survived by his wife of 63 years, Luna; his children, Robert
"Gary" Hoskinson (Gayle), Bonnie Reichenbach (Mike), and Terri Mulford, all of
Louisville; his brother, James Hoskinson (Melba) of Arkansas; grandchildren, Tabatha Cash,
Tiffany Rosenberger (Dean), Tennysia O'Neal (James), Amy Spencer (Chris), Amanda Weir,
Brian Reichenbach (Jamie), Belinda Barnett (Brandon), Katie Mulford, Tommy Mulford,
Jennifer Calhoun, and Lauren Woodson (Jason); 14 great-grandchildren; several nieces,
nephews, and email buddies.
His funeral service was held at 2 p.m. on Weds., June 17 at Evergreen
Funeral Home, followed by entombment in Evergreen Cemetery. Memorial contributions
were made to the Dare to Care Food Bank.
It was with a very heavy heart that I created and uploaded this
web page. "Mr. Bob" was my co-webmaster and, though he never coded one
of our web pages, it was largely due to his hard work and generosity that the 464th Bomb
Group web site has been able to offer so much valuable research information to our veterans
and their families.
Mr. Bob spent years compiling and contributing information for
the 464th web site - he spent so much time scanning, organizing, emailing and uploading
data...I don't know what this site would ever have been without him and his contributions.
It was thanks to Mr. Bob that we were able to offer
our visitors the Missing Air Crew Reports, the Narrative Mission Reports, Tony Schneider's
464th Bomb Group Newsletters, the Group's Pantanella newsletters and other historical data
about our Group and their time in WWII. He contributed not only his expertise, but he spent
many years researching available data to offer other members of our Group as well as
Mr. Bob never asked for anything in return...except...perhaps,
not to be argued with! (smile) It's always been my experience that he was a reliable and responsible
resource and that he "knew what he knew." He also had a warm, wry sense of
humor that will be greatly missed by all of us.
Mr. Bob was my co-webmaster since 2002 - practically
since the day this site was first uploaded to the Internet. He was a fine man, a wonderful
friend and a credit to our Group. He will be sorely missed for a very long time by all who
I feel privileged to have been counted among his associates
and friends. I am extremely thankful to have had the opportunity to meet him and his beautiful
family in person for the first and only time at the last 464th Bomb Group reunion. Friends,
like Mr. Bob, his lovely wife Luna and his beautiful daughter Bonnie are hard to come by...I
am thankful to be able to be counted their friend.
Mr. Bob, I am so sorry we didn't have another chance to meet
after Tucson. I will miss your quick wit, your insight and your generous spirit so very much. I
wish you clear skies, calm winds and a smooth landing, Mr. Bob. May God be your co-pilot
on this last and greatest adventure. Wendy