Pfc Robert F. Kiley
arrived in New York City aboard the SS Monticello on 3 June 1945 (see
He traveled under Movement
Orders RO Group, E 1021-14, a contingent of POWs returning to the U.S.
POW DIED OF DISEASE AFTER WAR ENDED
Robert Francis Kiley ASN 11106372. was a member of the 81mm Mortar
Platoon of HQ2 when he jumped into Normandy in the early hours of June
Things did not go well for
Robert as he was captured by the Germans that same day
Kiley endured the hardships
of being a POW during the remaining years of the war and after being
released from captivity he was returned to the United States.
Despite receiving treatment
for acute infectious hepatitis, apparently contracted during his
captivity, he died on June 12, 1946. He survived the Normandy
Invasion by just 2 years and 6 days.
Robert was buried in Calvary Cemetery, Greenfield, Massachusetts in Lot 71
(Ascension Section), Grave 3.
NOTE: Irv Shanley,
also of HQ2nd, provided the details of Robert Kiley's capture and
ultimate death. He later furthered his research and visited the grave to
pay his respects and to take photos of the grave site. One of those photos
Robert Kiley's Grave Marker
in the Calvary Cemetery, Greenfield, Massachusetts.
Robert Kiley volunteered for the Army on November 2, 1942 at Springfield, Massachusetts. After
initial processing at Fort Devens, Massachusetts he was shipped on a
troop train directly to Camp Blanding, Florida with many other New
Englanders who had volunteered for parachutist duty.
He served as a first gunner and squad leader in Headquarters
Company, 2nd Battalion, and the 508th PIR until he was severely wounded and captured by the
Germans after landing in an apple tree in Normandy on D-Day. He
was wounded by a German grenade in the face and leg and he lost his
right eye as a result.
He was imprisoned for 11 months at Stalag VIIA near Moosburg,
After repatriation in early May 1945, Bob was returned to the
United States for hospitalization and was medically discharged from the
Army on May 31, 1946.
He died suddenly on June 12, 1946 after
complaining about a pain in his leg. Bob was one of the very few POWs in
the 508th to be awarded the Combat Infantry Badge.