Robert V. Crookshanks

21 Mar 1925 - 26 Nov 2014

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Robert V. Crookshanks

21 Mar 1925 - 26 Nov 2014
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Robert Crookshanks was the tailgunner on this Captain Hess' crew. This story was related by the navigator's daughter and appeared on a unit history page. You can see the crew in the photo. My father is the furthest on the viewer's left. ..... The crew was on a mission to bomb the Messerschmitt Plant

Life Information

Robert V. Crookshanks

Born:
Died:

Confederate Cemetery

Washington Ave
Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Virginia
United States
Transcriber

trishkovach

July 27, 2018
Transcriber

greyes

September 24, 2020
Photographer

shanaehill

July 27, 2018

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Robert V. Crookshanks is buried in the Confederate Cemetery at the location displayed on the map below. This GPS information is ONLY available at BillionGraves. Our technology can help you find the gravesite and other family members buried nearby.

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A Bit of Engine Trouble...

Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 5 months ago

Robert Crookshanks was the tailgunner on this Captain Hess' crew. This story was related by the navigator's daughter and appeared on a unit history page. You can see the crew in the photo. My father is the furthest on the viewer's left. ..... The crew was on a mission to bomb the Messerschmitt Plant at Regensburg, Germany. As they began the bomb run through heavy flak the number one engine took a direct hit, blowing the prop into the sky and causing the plane to buck like a wild bronco. It was immediately thrown into a severe left bank as the pilot, Lt. Hess, struggled to regain control. Unnerved, and now flying with only three engines, they courageously pressed on toward the target. The bomb bay doors were opened, and within seconds the number two engine was hit, blowing off the turbo charger. Fortunately it did not explode, but the impact caused the plane to bank hard to the right out of control. To make matters worse it threw them into the propwash of another bomber, causing the plane to flip upside down. The order was given to bail out, but the centrifugal force caused by the fierce spinning kept the men pinned to the airplane floor and walls frantically trying to pull themselves out of the hatches and waist windows. Caught in a death trap and unable to budge, the crew began their final prayers when the plane (aided no doubt by a little Divine intervention) miraculously righted itself enabling the pilot to pullout of the spin and regain control. Now at 10,000 feet and with a limited amount of fuel the crew was forced to make some quick decisions. They had two choices: fly to Switzerland, which was doable, or take their chances and try to make it to the allied border in northern Italy. If they landed in Switzerland, a neutral country, they knew they would be interned there for the rest of the war. This did not sit well with the men, as there was no telling how long that might be, possibly years. They were also concerned that they might be classified as M.I.A. (missing in action), causing undo stress on their families. Unable to maintain an altitude higher than 10,000 feet with only two engines, the navigator, Lt. Haden, searched for a route to Italy that would cut through the 15,000 ft. Alpine Mountains. He found it in Brenner Pass, a valley which connects Innsbruck, Austria with Bolzano, Italy. Brerenner Pass is technically at the border between Italy and Austria. The crews always considered it to include the entire valley that snakes through the Alps Mountains with Verona at the South end and Innsbruck at the North end. In places the valley is just wide enough for a river, a road and a railroad. It was a main connection between the Axis. The valley is well over 100 miles long and every foot was heavily defended by 558 large antiaircraft gun installations. Under the best conditions in peacetime a journey through the Alps at that altitude would be considered treacherous. For a crippled bomber low on fuel and being shot at from all sides, it was darn near suicide. To further complicate matters much of northern Italy was still occupied by the Germans, which meant even if they made it through the Alpine Pass in one piece, they would still have a considerable flight over enemy territory. Fuel was a major concern. Before take off the tanks were topped off at 2750 gallons and the planes were loaded to the hilt with bombs. On the way to the target the group tried to gain as much altitude as possible, consequently burning about 3/4 of the fuel by the time they reached their mark. This meant there might be as little as 600 gallons of fuel left after the run. However, if they made it over the Alps it would be downhill the rest of the way. Haden calculated that if the Gods were with them (and if they didn't hit a mountain or get blown out of the sky) they would have just enough fuel to eke across the Allied border into Rimini, a coastal town on the Adriatic with an army base and runway. With no time to ponder the idea a vote was taken, and trusting their navigator, the captain and crew opted to take their chances and go for it. Needlesseedless to say it was a harrowing flight through the snowcovered Alps, (pilot Glenn Hess likened it to guiding an elephant through the eye of a needle under fire) but somehow against all odds, their badly crippled plane managed to make it through the Pass, cross the allied border on fumes, and hobble to a stop at the tail end of the Rimini runway. Hess checked the fuel gauge - it was empty. Stunned and badly shaken by their ordeal, the men crawled out to inspect the plane. Hess recalled: "The plane was so badly shot-up that you couldn't lay your hand anywhere on it without touching a flak hole. We hadn't been out of the plane more than two minutes when this General came flying down the runway raising all kinds of Hell about us landing on his airstrip. It was a fighter strip and the General was screaming at me to get my f------ plane off his runway!' I stood there and took his insults for awhile until finally exasperated I stopped him by saying `Sir, would you like to inspect my plane?' We looked at each other for a moment and then I just walked away. Once he got a good look at it we heard him yell,`Hell this thing ain't worth movin!' He then ordered a bulldozer to shove it over the nearest embankment, and that's where it stayed." Jo Haden (Daughter of Lt. Robert O. Haden, Navigator, 831st BS, 485th BG, 15th AF). (Material Submitted By Sammy Schneider, 485th BG). The Perfect Pass. Bomber Legends. Volume 2 Number 1, 2005. http://www.jcs-group.com/military/war1941air/venosa.html

A Bit of Engine Trouble...

Contributor: greyes Created: 5 months ago Updated: 5 months ago

Robert Crookshanks was the tailgunner on this Captain Hess' crew. This story was related by the navigator's daughter and appeared on a unit history page. You can see the crew in the photo. My father is the furthest on the viewer's left. ..... The crew was on a mission to bomb the Messerschmitt Plant at Regensburg, Germany. As they began the bomb run through heavy flak the number one engine took a direct hit, blowing the prop into the sky and causing the plane to buck like a wild bronco. It was immediately thrown into a severe left bank as the pilot, Lt. Hess, struggled to regain control. Unnerved, and now flying with only three engines, they courageously pressed on toward the target. The bomb bay doors were opened, and within seconds the number two engine was hit, blowing off the turbo charger. Fortunately it did not explode, but the impact caused the plane to bank hard to the right out of control. To make matters worse it threw them into the propwash of another bomber, causing the plane to flip upside down. The order was given to bail out, but the centrifugal force caused by the fierce spinning kept the men pinned to the airplane floor and walls frantically trying to pull themselves out of the hatches and waist windows. Caught in a death trap and unable to budge, the crew began their final prayers when the plane (aided no doubt by a little Divine intervention) miraculously righted itself enabling the pilot to pullout of the spin and regain control. Now at 10,000 feet and with a limited amount of fuel the crew was forced to make some quick decisions. They had two choices: fly to Switzerland, which was doable, or take their chances and try to make it to the allied border in northern Italy. If they landed in Switzerland, a neutral country, they knew they would be interned there for the rest of the war. This did not sit well with the men, as there was no telling how long that might be, possibly years. They were also concerned that they might be classified as M.I.A. (missing in action), causing undo stress on their families. Unable to maintain an altitude higher than 10,000 feet with only two engines, the navigator, Lt. Haden, searched for a route to Italy that would cut through the 15,000 ft. Alpine Mountains. He found it in Brenner Pass, a valley which connects Innsbruck, Austria with Bolzano, Italy. Brenner Pass is technically at the border between Italy and Austria. The crews always considered it to include the entire valley that snakes through the Alps Mountains with Verona at the South end and Innsbruck at the North end. In places the valley is just wide enough for a river, a road and a railroad. It was a main connection between the Axis. The valley is well over 100 miles long and every foot was heavily defended by 558 large antiaircraft gun installations. Under the best conditions in peacetime a journey through the Alps at that altitude would be considered treacherous. For a crippled bomber low on fuel and being shot at from all sides, it was darn near suicide. To further complicate matters much of northern Italy was still occupied by the Germans, which meant even if they made it through the Alpine Pass in one piece, they would still have a considerable flight over enemy territory. Fuel was a major concern. Before take off the tanks were topped off at 2750 gallons and the planes were loaded to the hilt with bombs. On the way to the target the group tried to gain as much altitude as possible, consequently burning about 3/4 of the fuel by the time they reached their mark. This meant there might be as little as 600 gallons of fuel left after the run. However, if they made it over the Alps it would be downhill the rest of the way. Haden calculated that if the Gods were with them (and if they didn't hit a mountain or get blown out of the sky) they would have just enough fuel to eke across the Allied border into Rimini, a coastal town on the Adriatic with an army base and runway. With no time to ponder the idea a vote was taken, and trusting their navigator, the captain and crew opted to take their chances and go for it. Needless to say it was a harrowing flight through the snowcovered Alps, (pilot Glenn Hess likened it to guiding an elephant through the eye of a needle under fire) but somehow against all odds, their badly crippled plane managed to make it through the Pass, cross the allied border on fumes, and hobble to a stop at the tail end of the Rimini runway. Hess checked the fuel gauge - it was empty. Stunned and badly shaken by their ordeal, the men crawled out to inspect the plane. Hess recalled: "The plane was so badly shot-up that you couldn't lay your hand anywhere on it without touching a flak hole. We hadn't been out of the plane more than two minutes when this General came flying down the runway raising all kinds of Hell about us landing on his airstrip. It was a fighter strip and the General was screaming at me to get my f------ plane off his runway!' I stood there and took his insults for awhile until finally exasperated I stopped him by saying `Sir, would you like to inspect my plane?' We looked at each other for a moment and then I just walked away. Once he got a good look at it we heard him yell,`Hell this thing ain't worth movin!' He then ordered a bulldozer to shove it over the nearest embankment, and that's where it stayed." Jo Haden (Daughter of Lt. Robert O. Haden, Navigator, 831st BS, 485th BG, 15th AF). (Material Submitted By Sammy Schneider, 485th BG). The Perfect Pass. Bomber Legends. Volume 2 Number 1, 2005. http://www.jcs-group.com/military/war1941air/venosa.html

Crichton Will Graduate 24 Commencement Program is Tuesday Night

Contributor: greyes Created: 5 months ago Updated: 5 months ago

By Regular Staff Writer CRICHTON - Twenty-four seniors of Crichton High School expect to receive diplomas Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the high school auditorium.Iris Woods, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Woods, of Crichton, won highest honor with an average of 93 and Robert Crookshanks, son of Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Crookshanks, of Marfrance won the the salutarian honor with an average of 92. Robert Crookshanks will give a speech on "Leadership" and Iris Woods will speak on the subject of "Day Dreams." Senior girls include Betty Weatherford, vice president Natalie Beck, Mildred Blackhorst, Loleta Watson, 'Helen' Moore, presdent, Marie Price, Ruth Wood, Iris Woods, Katherine Jordan Patsy McKenzie, Alfreda Nutter, Wilma Miller, Ronnie Nutter, and Stella Baranski. Senior boys are Jack Dempsey, James Ford, Sammy Lake, Ralph hall, Cecil Crookshanks, ? Hagar, Robert Crookshanks, L.* Gaines, Max* Coughlin and Lawrence miller. The Rev. Charls W. Fink, district superintendent of the Lewisburg District of the Methodist Church, will speak at the baccalaureate sermon at 11 a.m. Sunday in the Crichton High School auditorium. (note: Cecil Crookshanks is Robert's older brother. Robert skipped a year and was in the same class) (not certain of the spelling of these names--hard to read--vcj) From: The Sunday Register, Beckley, Raleigh County, W.Va. Sunday Morning, may 24, 1942. pg. 15 https://newspaperarchive.com/beckley-sunday-register-may-24-1942-p-15/

Life timeline of Robert V. Crookshanks

Robert V. Crookshanks was born on 21 Mar 1925
Robert V. Crookshanks was 14 years old when Adolf Hitler signs an order to begin the systematic euthanasia of mentally ill and disabled people. Adolf Hitler was a German politician, demagogue, and Pan-German revolutionary, who was the leader of the Nazi Party, Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and Führer ("Leader") of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. As dictator, Hitler initiated World War II in Europe with the invasion of Poland in September 1939, and was central to the Holocaust.
Robert V. Crookshanks was 19 years old when World War II: The Allied invasion of Normandy—codenamed Operation Overlord—begins with the execution of Operation Neptune (commonly referred to as D-Day), the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France. The Allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland in the largest amphibious military operation in history. The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.
Robert V. Crookshanks was 31 years old when Disneyland Hotel opens to the public in Anaheim, California. The Disneyland Hotel is a resort hotel located at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, owned by the Walt Disney Company and operated through its Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products division. Opened on October 5, 1955, as a motor inn owned and operated by Jack Wrather under an agreement with Walt Disney, the hotel was the first to officially bear the Disney name. Under Wrather's ownership, the hotel underwent several expansions and renovations over the years before being acquired by Disney in 1988. The hotel was downsized to its present capacity in 1999 as part of the Disneyland Resort expansion.
Robert V. Crookshanks was 40 years old when Thirty-five hundred United States Marines are the first American land combat forces committed during the Vietnam War. The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting amphibious operations with the United States Navy. The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the four armed service branches in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States.
1977
Robert V. Crookshanks was 52 years old when Star Wars is released in theaters. Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first film in the original Star Wars trilogy and the beginning of the Star Wars franchise. Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, and Peter Mayhew, the film focuses on the Rebel Alliance, led by Princess Leia (Fisher), and its attempt to destroy the Galactic Empire's space station, the Death Star.
Robert V. Crookshanks was 61 years old when Space Shuttle program: STS-51-L mission: Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts on board. The Space Shuttle program was the fourth human spaceflight program carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which accomplished routine transportation for Earth-to-orbit crew and cargo from 1981 to 2011. Its official name, Space Transportation System (STS), was taken from a 1969 plan for a system of reusable spacecraft of which it was the only item funded for development.
Robert V. Crookshanks was 66 years old when The World Wide Web is opened to the public. The World Wide Web (WWW), also called the Web, is an information space where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), interlinked by hypertext links, and accessible via the Internet. English scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. He wrote the first web browser in 1990 while employed at CERN in Switzerland. The browser was released outside CERN in 1991, first to other research institutions starting in January 1991 and to the general public on the Internet in August 1991.
Robert V. Crookshanks was 78 years old when Invasion of Iraq: In the early hours of the morning, the United States and three other countries (the UK, Australia and Poland) begin military operations in Iraq. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was the first stage of the Iraq War. The invasion phase began on 20 March 2003 and lasted just over one month, including 21 days of major combat operations, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq. This early stage of the war formally ended on 1 May 2003 when U.S. President George W. Bush declared the "end of major combat operations", after which the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was established as the first of several successive transitional governments leading up to the first Iraqi parliamentary election in January 2005. U.S. military forces later remained in Iraq until the withdrawal in 2011.
Robert V. Crookshanks died on 26 Nov 2014 at the age of 89
BillionGraves.com
Grave record for Robert V. Crookshanks (21 Mar 1925 - 26 Nov 2014), BillionGraves Record 39584294 Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Virginia, United States

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