Courtesy of the 82nd Airborne Association:
Lieutenant Colonel Robert Gallardo of Barefoot Bay was born October 29, 1921, in Tampa, Florida to Christopher and Maria Gallardo. He was the 12th child of a family of 13. There were three girls and 10 boys.
At 11 the family moved to New York City. When the war broke out, he enlisted immediately after Pearl Harbor on July 1st, 1942. He made the army his career, serving 23 years and ending his military service as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Following his Army career, he served in the CIA for six years. Before actually retiring from the work world, he worked for IBM for six years.
He married Anna DePedro on February 19, 1944, while on leave from the Army where he was stationed in North Carolina.
In his early years of service he boxed under the name “Kid Gallardo” and had 12 fights, with the highlights being when Al Johnson attended one of his fights. A dislocated shoulder ended his boxing career.
Bob Gallardo was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, recipient of two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, four Purple Hearts, and he was a member of the Purple Heart Association. He was a recipient of the Combat Infantrymen's Badge with star, he was a Master parachutist, and was awarded the Vietnamese Medal of Honor First Class. He was a member of VFW Post #10210, American Legion Post #189, and Polish League of American Veterans Post #210, all of Sebastian, Florida. Bob was also a distinguished member of the Space Coast All Airborne Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association. This patriotic trooper was an example of integrity, dedication and true friendship. He was present at every meeting of the Space Coast Chapter, always supporting his fellow paratroopers.
Bob Gallardo passed away on September 1st, 2001 at his residence in Barefoot Bay, Florida. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Anna D. Gallardo; four children, Robert, Carole Ann, Marie Rosa, and Christine; one sister, Esther Yanez who celebrated her 100th birthday on January 13, 2002; and 10 grand children. Colonel Gallardo’s place of interment was the Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. After his departure, his wife Anna continued supporting the Space Coast Chapter. Currently, She is enjoying the chapter's meetings with the airborne spirit,
characteristic of Bob Gallardo. Although Bob is no longer in person with his fellow troopers and his wife, his legacy and memories will always be present in the Airborne community, and the people he loved.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
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