Robert L. George, 85, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who also worked for the Inter-American Development Bank, died of cancer January 2, 2007, at his home in Fairfax, Virginia.
Colonel George, who was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, and raised in Tyler, Texas, began his 21-year career in the Air Force as an aviation cadet in World War II.
He flew B-24 Liberator bombers in combat missions in North Africa and Italy and was shot down during a raid over the Ploesti oil fields in Romania. Colonel George, who broke his neck in the crash, was helped by underground Yugoslav partisans and taken to a secret location in Yugoslavia, where he was picked up by Allied forces and flown to a hospital in Naples.
He later flew missions in the Korean War while stationed in Tokyo.
Most of his post-war assignments involved financial duties. He taught advanced financial and organizational subjects at joint Army/Air Force accounting and financial schools. While assigned to Air Force headquarters at the Pentagon, he worked on international finance and the distribution of surplus aircraft to Latin American countries.
He served as an Air Force representative on joint commissions that included defense officials from Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. He also was assigned as a deputy director to the Organization of American States' Inter-American Defense Board.
His military decorations included the Air Medal with Cluster and the Purple Heart.
After retiring from active military duty in 1964, Colonel George joined the Inter-American Development Bank, where he was director of administrative services. He retired again in 1983.
He was a charter member of the Air and Space Museum, the Air and Space Society and the National World War II Memorial.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Irene Boone George of Fairfax; three children, John G. George of Houston, Gail G. Childs of Moultonborough, N.H., and Denise M. George of Fairfax; a sister; 12 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
A daughter, Pauline Easby-Smith, died in 2005.
ROBERT L. GEORGE (Age 85)
Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.)
On Tuesday, January 2, 2007 of cancer at his home. A retired director of Administrative Services of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC. Robert is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Irene Boone George. Devoted father of John G. George of Houston, Texas, Gail G. Childs of Moultonboro, New Hampshire, Denise M. George of Fairfax, Virginia and the late Pauline Easby-Smith; brother of Laura G. Adams of Tyler, Texas and the late Wiley R. George. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at Fort Myer Chapel on Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 9 a.m. Interment with Full Military Honors will follow at Arlington National Cemetery.
Reception to follow at The Officer's Club. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Capital Hospice, 703-538-2065.
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.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard