Robert James "Bob" Blair

by Laurie Isabella Blair

Severson Crew, Dad's Gang

Severson Crew, Dad's Gang

My dad, Robert James Blair, is a veteran of the 513th Squadron and a member of the Elvin Severson crew (see photo, Dad's the good-looking guy in the back row not wearing his hat). Recently, Captain Severson's niece wrote in looking for information about her uncle and noted that his plane had been shot down. My dad was on that mission, and remembers it well. He was not one to hold back stories of being in the war, unlike many other veterans. (The only thing he hates talking about is how badly he wanted to be a pilot himself, and how that didn't work out.) It is no mystery that Dad would join this branch of the service when war came to America; he was always fascinated with kites and toy airplanes, carved wooden propellers to stick in the ground, and as a child climbed and jumped off roofs to see if he could land safely (he always did).

Dad was a small-town New England boy, graduating high school in 1940, strong and intelligent, just the type the war effort was looking for. (However, he's so irreverent I often wonder how he ever took orders!)

Just prior to his appointment as Staff Sargent Dad was honorably discharged, and married my mom in 1943. They had two kids, my brother in 1951 and me in 1956. Dad became a car salesman and then a real estate broker before a 22-year (11 term) career in politics as First Selectman (mayor) of our town. After retiring for a year or so, he got bored and went back to work for another 22 years as a shipping/receiving and inventory person for a small family-run company right in town. He retired for a second time at age 91! He is now almost 95, completely "with it," just as funny as ever, and lives alone since we lost my beloved mom last fall (he kept her home until she was 90 -- talk about the Greatest Generation). He has two grandsons and a great-grandson, and we love spending time with him. He's relatively healthy and I'll ask him more about his Air Corps time soon so I can relay it in proper chronological order and get the places correct.

He was my first love, of course, and will always be my hero, as are you all.

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Mar 19, 2021
My Dad Bob Blair
by: Laurie Isabella Blair

It has taken me almost a year to share this news. We lost my brother, my rock and protector and Dad's best buddy, unexpectedly and suddenly in June 2018. I moved in with Dad for the next 11 months as his health failed and his spirit crumbled. On March 21, 2020, he died peacefully at home with me at his side. He died of a broken heart. Because of Covid, we were unable to have any normal type of service for him, just a rainy graveside memorial with immediate family. I miss him dreadfully and every day I have something to tell him. The night the gentlemen from the funeral home carried him out, they covered him with an American flag and saluted him. Johnny Wheeler, a nephew of Tom Wintermyre who is standing next to Dad in the crew photo, found me on Facebook and turns out he lives about 40 minutes away. He so wanted to meet Dad, but we just could not make it happen in time. However, I have a new "friend." Small world. Godspeed, Dad. Miss you dreadfully. Love you forever.

May 06, 2020
The crash
by: Dave Severson

Greetings! I am one of Elvin Severson's nephews and like him spent some time in the Air Force. I have been asked by other family if you might have any information on the crash the crew had. Elvin never really would talk about the war so none of us really now what happened. Hoping you might be able to enlighten us. Thanks Dave Severson

Mar 30, 2017
Captain Elvin Severson (Swede)
by: Barbara Severson Vanderlinde

Thank you Laurie! I am Captain Severson's niece, Barb and am so glad you got back to me! I will love hearing about Elvin's service. My siblings and I have always wondered about his injuries--he, like his brother Bob (our dad) NEVER talked about the war. Elvin came back to SD after the war and farmed his whole life. His daughter died as an infant, and his son Dennis, died at the age of 36. He has a grandson and granddaughter and several great grandchildren. His wife, Helen, is also deceased. He died in 1992.

Mar 01, 2017
An Edit From The "Author"
by: Anonymous

Sorry, they got married in 1946, not 1943. Glad you enjoyed the story and I'm looking forward to adding on to it! I do hope Captain Severson's niece comes back to check this site. We can tell her about her uncle's fateful plane trip. It's an interesting and certainly harrowing story. All lived through it, thank goodness. Laurie Blair

Feb 28, 2017
Great Story!
by: Clark Baldon

Great story! Thanks for your service Mr. Blair!

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My Trip to San Pancrazio

October 2019


NOTE change in month !!!

DATES: Oct 12-15, 2023

CITY:Fairfax Co, VA

HOTEL: Westin Dulles hotel

2520 Wasser Terrace, Herndon, VA 20171


Click here to read about the reunion details.

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Liberando: Reflections of a Reluctant Warrior

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Bombardier's Diary

Lost Airmen

Langdon Liberando