Tribute to Bob L. Pearson
35th Infantry Division patch
Branch of Service: US Army
Unit: Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division
Awards Earned: Good Conduct Medal
Bob L. Pearson served in the US Army from February, 1941 until discharge in June, 1945. This included serving in the European Theatre in WWII. He landed in Normandy at Omaha Beach on D+30 (July 7, 1944). He served with the 35th Infantry Division (137th Infantry Regiment) as part of Patton's Third Army, which included campaigns in the Rhineland, Northern France, Ardennes, and Central Europe. He reached the rank of staff sergeant (Tech 4) and supported the Regimental HQ's Sergeant Major as driver and administrative assistant in the Service Company, personnel section.
Bob and wife Dorothy, grew up in Wichita, Kansas and eloped in May, 1941 while he was in infantry training in Camp Robinson, Arkansas. Bob and Dorothy (Graham) were active in sports in Wichita at Wichita North and Wichita East High Schools, respectively. Bob also helped organize and played on various Army unit baseball teams during training stints in Arkansas, California and North Carolina before departure overseas. He played semi-pro baseball in the Wichita area before and after Army service.
Bob and Dorothy had two boys - one born in 1942 (Bob II) and a second son (Jeff) born while Bob was overseas. Bob II played five years of professional baseball. Bob has two sisters, Shirley Naill and Colleen Naylor that still reside in Wichita.
As of this submission, Bob is 89 and living in Scottsdale, Arizona with his oldest son and has two brothers living in Green Valley, Arizona. He also has four grandkids and six great grandchildren in addition to his two sons. Dorothy passed away in August, 2007. Bob's two brothers, Eugene and Charlie, also served in the war effort. Older brother Eugene, worked in aircraft production at Beech Aircraft during the war and Charlie earned his wings in the Army Air Corps shortly before the war's end. In addition, brother-in-law Johnny Graham (Dorothy's brother) served in gunnery on bombers in WWII. A younger brother-in-law, Bill Naill, served as a Marine in the Korean War and became a prominent small businessman in Wichita. Both are now deceased.
After the service, Bob worked in traffic management (now called logistics) in the grain milling business and spent most of his career in Buffalo, New York and Minneapolis, Minnesota. He and Dorothy retired and spent most of their retired time in Arizona. Bob and his two brothers celebrated a joint 50th anniversary gala with their Wichita wives, families, friends and Wichita siblings in Green Valley, Arizona in June, 1991. Bob and his brothers (who married sisters) were all married in 1941. This rare anniversary event, with story and pictures, was covered by the Associated Press and appeared in major newspapers throughout the country.
Bob met and occasionally corresponded with John D. Eisenhower in later years. John and his famous dad, Ike, inspected the 137th Infantry in 1944, prior to their departure to Normandy from Falmouth, England. John (a Kansas native) attended some of the division's reunions.
Submitted by Jeffrey Pearson (son)