Date of Interview
Bob Knobel was born 28 April 1923 in Altoona, Wisconsin, where he grew up and graduated from high school in 1941. Bob did a year at Eau Claire Teachers' College, Wisconsin, then moved to St. Paul, Minnesota. In November 1942, he entered the US Army Air Corps (USAAC). In the USAAC, Bob was trained as a top turret gunner and flight engineer on B-17 Flying Fortress four-engine heavy bombers. He was assigned to 570th Bomb Squadron, 390th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, and sent to England. While on a mission to France on 22 June 1944, his tenth, Bob's plane was shot down. After some days at the Dulag Luft interrogation facility, Bob was sent to Stalag Luft IV, Grosstychow. He remained there until this camp was evacuated in early 1945, with Soviet troops closing in. Prisoners were marched for months through Germany until this group liberated by US forces on 6 May by Canadian forces near the Elbe River. Bob was evacuated along with other liberated POWs, then sent to the United States. He was discharged in late 1945. In June, right after returning, Bob was married (Jeanette) and raised two boys. He had a career in the broadcasting industry, with WCCO in the Twin Cities (fourteen years), and 3M (twenty-two years); Bob retired in 1986. He was active many years in the American Ex-POWs organization.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Bob Knobel" (2005). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 33.