Lee, Robert E. (607th)

Robert E. Lee 1Robert E. Lee

Biography: Robert Edgar Lee, “Bob”, was born on January 23, 1922, in Monongah, West Virginia. He was the son of Charles Lee and Georgia Davis and completed 3 years of schooling at Monongah High School. His enlistment record indicates he was employed in the tinsmith, coppersmith and sheet metal line of work.

Service Time: Bob entered the Army on December 28, 1942, at Clarksburg, WV. He was soon assigned to Company C of the 607th Tank Destroyer Battalion. The unit trained at a number of locations including Camp San Luis Obispo, the Desert Training Center and Camp Cooke, all in California. They shipped overseas on April 13, 1944, arriving in Liverpool, England on the 21st. Company C landed at Utah Beach, Normandy, France, on June 23rd.

The unit supported the advance on Cherbourg and fought along the Seves River in July. Participating in the drive to Le Mans and envelopment of the Falaise Pocket in August, they advanced to the Moselle River in September and supported operations against Metz, France, through November. They converted from the towed 3” anti-tank guns to a self-propelled battalion equipped with M36s in time for the final assault on Metz. Joining the drive toward the Saar River, they supported the capture of Saarlautern, Germany, and the subsequent fight against the Siegfried Line in December. Deployed to the Ardennes sector in January, 1945, they were soon committed against the Siegfried Line again in early February in the Schnee Eifel area of Germany. Supporting the capture of Koblenz in mid-March, they crossed the Rhine River at Boppard on March 25th. They subsequently fought through Hessen and Thüringen during April and reached the Czechoslovak border near Plauen by mid-April. Thereafter, they remained in defensive positions.

Bob was promoted to Technician Fifth Grade (T/5) on May 13, 1945. Like many other men in the 607th, he was transferred to the 771st TD Bn on June 29th. This was related to the points system used by the military to determine when a soldier was eligible to return home. Bob was awarded the Good Conduct, American Theater Service and World War II Victory medals along with the EAME medal and credit for the campaigns of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe. He was also awarded the Medal of the Jubilee of Liberty (posthumous). A commemorative medal ceremony was held on September 9, 2001, at the General Nathan Goff National Guard Armory, Clarksburg, WV. The medal was authorized by the Governor of Normandy, France, Region. It was presented in West Virginia to Normandy Veterans who were part of the Invasion between June 6, 1944 and August 31, 1944, and were unable to attend the 50th anniversary ceremonies in France.

When Bob returned to the U.S., he worked for the Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P) and later at North American Phillips (Westinghouse). On April 6, 1947, he married the former Deloris L. Carpenter in Fairmont, WV. She was from Fairmont and was the daughter of Denzil Carpenter and Thelma Rogers. The couple had two sons, Robert Earl born in 1948 and Larry Alan in 1954. Some of his favorite activities included Bible reading and prayer, bicycle touring, walking/hiking, horseshoes, piano, singing, table tennis and amateur radio (FCC call sign KA8KLE). He was a member of the Winfield United Methodist Church and the Harrison County Bicycle Club.

Bob passed away on September 2, 1994, and was buried in the Mt. Zion Cemetery, Fairmont, WV. We would like to thank his son, Robert, for providing the photo and information used in this tribute.