ROBERT JOHN WILLMANRobert John Willman of Portland, Ore. died on Aug. 15, 2012.
Robert John Willman of Portland, Ore., died on Aug. 15, 2012.
He was born in Duluth, on May 26, 1920, the son of John and Olga Willman.
He attended Denfeld High School in Duluth, graduating in the Class of 1938, and went on to attend Denfeld Junior College. He enlisted in the Army Aviation Cadet program in September 1941 and after completing flight training at Mather Field in Calif., he served as a flight instructor. He took B-17 training in 1944 and trained as a commander of B-29 bombers. He was promoted to Captain and assigned as a pilot with the 330th Bomb Group in the Pacific. He flew B-29 missions in the air offensive against Japan in the final months of World War II. All the bombers were named after a city in the U.S.; Willman’s bomber was named “The City of Duluth”. He was the last surviving member of his crew when he passed away. He was separated from active duty in 1946, but was later recalled to active duty to serve in the Korean Conflict, from 1951-1953, flying the C-124 military transport.
Willman was a pilot with Delta Air Lines for more than 30 years and retired as Captain in 1976. Between the Air Force and his time with Delta Air Lines, he logged over 32,000 hours of flight time. He was a dignified and gentle man who loved his family dearly. He took special pride in his wife and his children and grandchildren’s accomplishments. He was a role model for the pilots he trained in World War II and for those who flew by his side at Delta Air Lines.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Carolyn, of Portland, Ore.; his son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Sonja Willman, of Clayton, Mo.; his daughter and son-in-law, Carol (Carrie) and Frank Hunt of Portland, Ore.; his grandson, Justin Willman of Los Angeles, Calif.; his granddaughter Ashley Willman of Webster Groves, Mo.; his brother, Allen Willman of Duluth; and nieces, Ann Trehan of Woodbury, Minn.; and Christine Archambeault of Proctor, Minn.
He is deeply missed.
PRIVATE INTERMENT: will be at Oneota Cemetery in Duluth.
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