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Heer, Robert

Document Type

Oral History

Date of Interview



Robert Heer was born 30 November 1921 in Dubuque, Iowa. He grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, until age sixteen when his family moved to Riverside, California. Here Bob graduated from high school in 1940. In 1941, Bob enlisted in the US Army Air Corps. After completing training, he was assigned to the 30th Bomb Squadron, 19th Bomb Group, and that unit was sent to the Philippines, arriving in Manila in October 1941. Japanese forces attacked the Philippines on 8 December 1941. Along with others in his unit, Bob was taken prisoner on 23 June 1942 at Malaybalay, on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao. From June 1942 to September 1945, Bob spent time in a number of prisoner of war camps in Formosa (now Taiwan) and Japan. Once back in the United States, Bob spent time at Letterman Hospital in San Francisco. He stayed in the military until retiring in the 1960s. Bob was married in 1946 (divorced 1968), and raised two children. In this interview, Bob talks in depth about the human side of his POW experience, both during the war and after.


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Bob Heer - Transcript.pdf (766 kB)
PDF Transcript of Interview with Bob Heer