Airm Medal with two Oak Leaf ClustersPurple Heart Staff Sergeant
Robert P. Valentik

1921 - February 4, 1944

Fairfield, Connecticut - off Haamstede


 

 

Robert P. Valentik was born in 1921 and was from Fairfield, Connecticut.

His younger sister, Delores, writes: "To me he was Bobby.  He took care of me while my parents were busy making a living at their "Men Hats" factory.  They were not back home until late evening.  Bobby made sure I was safe, not hungry and Happy.

On graduation from High School he enlisted to be a Pilot in the Army Air Force, but could not pass an eye test. 




 

418th Bomb  Squadron
100th Bomb Group

He was told to go back home and when he was called to duty it would be in the Air Force.  This came to be and he was qualified a Radio-, Radar operator and Gunner.  Was on base in England for quite a while.  When a call came needing his expertise, Bobby volunteered for duty on the B 17 Adrian's father was serving on (see below).

To understand the quality of this young man may I tell you of his Heroism?  While waiting to be drafted he was employed at a Yacht Club to teach the young what was involved in sailing "Star Sail-boats"  While instructing a young lady a sudden violent Thunder storm came upon them before they could return to shore and safety.  The small sail boat tipped over from the fearful wind.  They were thrown into the water.  Bobby got hold of the young lady and with the same hand kept hold of the ropes of the sail boat.  He somehow got to a channel marker buoy, put the young lady on top of the buoy and then tied the ropes holding the overturned boat also to the buoy. He remained in the water holding on until the Boat Club located them.  Bobby was honored a Hero. I will never stop missing my wonderful, hero brother Bobby."

Robert enlisted on 3 July 1942.  Like his sister Delores writes, he became the Radio Operator of a B17 with the 100th Bomb Group, operating out of Thorpe Abbotts.

On February 4, 1944, S/Sgt Valentik and his crew took off for their 15th mission. Target was Frankfurt, Germany. The crew consisted of:

1Lt William E. Green, pilot
2Lt Jack P. Jensen, co-pilot 
2Lt John J. Joyce, Navigator 
2Lt John S. Hamilton, Bombardier 
S/Sgt Robert W. Valentik, Radio Operator Gunner
S/Sgt Roman E. Beran, Top Turet Gunner Engineer
S/Sgt Richard K. Anderegg, Ball Turret Gunner 
S/Sgt Sanford Tisdale, Waist Gunner
S/Sgt Harry J. Waskewicz, Waist Gunner 
S/Sgt Leroy E. Leist, tail Gunner 


CAUGHT IN THE DRAFT - Picture taken at Dalhart, Texas prior to October 1943.
(Kneeling l to r): William Green (P), Jack Jensen (CP), Jack Hamilton (BOM), John Joyce (NAV).
(Standing l to r): Roman Beran (TTE), Richard Anderegg (BTG), Robert Valentik (ROG), Sanford Tisdale (RWG), Unknown, Leroy Leist (TG). 
 (picture courtesy 100th BG assoc.)

S/Sgt Tom Sasser was the Original ROG on this crew but was replaced on the Feb 4, 1944 mission by S/Sgt Robert Valentik.

Their plane was hit by flak and damaged on the flight. Later, the formation was attacked by German Me109's and Fw190's.The Missing Aircrew Report mentions: "This A/C, in 3rd element of the high squadron, pulled out of formation at 1352 hours and headed for the undercast. It was smoking but appeared under control. No chutes were seen."

22 year old Lt. William Green tried to dive through the undercast for cover. However, Erich Scheyda of JG 26 followed the plane down and gave it the final blow.

The bodies of Harry Waskewicz, John Hamilton and Richard Anderegg were recovered near Ouddorp, Holland on 6 February 1944. They were buried on 7 February 1944 in Ouddorp Communal Cemetery.

The body of John Joyce was recovered near Ellemeet, Holland on 5 April 1944 and was buried on 18 April 1944 in Haamstede Cemetery, near Ellemeet.


S/Sgt Robert P. Valentik is mentioned on the Margraten Wall of the Missing.

Note: Efforts are on the way to locate the B17 of Lt. Green and his crew.


Margraten, The Netherlands

 

Acknowledgements:
Adrian Leist Caldwell, Daughter of S/Sgt Leroy E. Leist
Mr. Faley, 100th Bomb Group

Sources:
100th Bomb Group Website

See Also:
1Lt William E. Green
2Lt Jack P. Jensen 
2Lt John J. Joyce 
2Lt John S. Hamilton
S/Sgt Roman E. Beran
S/Sgt Richard K. Anderegg  
S/Sgt Sanford Tisdale
S/Sgt Harry J. Waskewicz
S/Sgt Leroy E. Leist

 

Directions to Margraten American Military Cemetery


If you have any suggestions, comments or additional information, please contact me.

This website is dedicated to the men and women who died and/or are buried in The Netherlands during World War II.

 

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