March 26, 2013

Presentation of the Bronze Star Medal to Maj. Robert Swenson

On March 26, 2013, Patricia Overman, Deputy Wing Commander - Wing 1 North, went to interview Maj. Robert Swenson in his home in Bellevue Washington. The interview had to do with the Varsity Operation and Bob's involvement in the 435th Provisional Glider Pilots Infantry Company and the battle they were involved in during the night of 24 March 1945. What was to be a routine interview turned out to be the discovery that Bob Swenson had never received his Bronze Star Medal and, in fact, knew nothing about the request his Commanding Officer, then Captain Charles Gordon, had made. Capt. Gordon requested that the Bronze Star Medal be given to his men for their involvement in a battle that was dubed "Battle of Burp Gun Corner" in the April, 1944, edition of the Stars and Stripes. The documentation was verified by the National WWII Glider Pilots Association and the medal and citation were located through the Silent Wings Museum (SWM) by Curator, Dr. Don Abbe.

A WWII Airborne organization was holding their conference in the Seattle area and they had requested that Troop Carrier veterans attend. Bob was asked to give a presentation on this unique company and the battle with the Germans that made it so famous. Since Bob would be giving a presentation at the Trigger Time convention on August 10th the National WWII Glider Pilots Association asked Joint Base Lewis McChord to have the military medal presentation at the conference, which they gratiously agreed.

Further information see:

Bob Swenson Just before shipping out for assignment to the ETO -1944

2013 Keynote Speaker Maj. General Kenneth Dahl, Deputy Commanding General I Corps, Joint Base Lewis McChord.

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