1901 - 1977The highest ranking serviceman from Shackelford County during World War II, Robert Williams was a native of Albany. After attending schools here, he graduated from Texas A&M in 1923 with a degree in Civil Engineering and a commission as a Second Lieutenant. He entered the Air Corps, which then was just a branch of the Army. Williams played an important role in the development of heavy bombers, particularly the 4 engined Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. He participated in goodwill mission flights of six B-17s to Brazil in 1938 and to Argentina in 1939 to prove the long range capability of this bomber. In 1940, he was sent to London as an American military observer of heavy air bombardment where he lost an eye when his apartment was struck by a German bomb during the Blitz. When America entered the war, the U.S. 8th Air Force was organized in England into three divisions. Major General Robert Williams was commander of the 1st Bombardment Division while Major General Curtis LeMay was in command of the 3rd Division. They were equipped with B-17s. Under their directions, the 8th Air Force quickly enlarged and soon was launching thousand plane raids against Germany. General Robert Williams personally led the famous Schweinfurt ball bearing plant raid on August 17, 1943, flying in a B-17 named "Lady Luck." Schweinfurt was the most important target to that date for the 8th Air Force. Williams received the Distinguished Service Cross for this mission. He later flew on raids to Hamburg, Gelsenkirchen and Watten Germany. On the latter, his plane received major battle damage. After WW II, Gen. Williams returned to the U.S. He served in high positions in the Air Force until retiring in the mid 1950s to San Antonio where he died in 1977. General Williams, along with his cohort General Curtis LeMay, were leaders in the development of the heavy bombardment ability of the U.S. Air Force that helped defeat Germany and Japan in WW II.
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Thursday, July 16th, 2015 at 10:01pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||14S E 472183 N 3620633|
|Decimal Degrees||32.72313333, -99.29685000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 32° 43.388', W 99° 17.811'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||32° 43' 23.28" N, 99° 17' 48.66" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Which side of the road?||Marker is on the right when traveling East|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 201-299 TX-6, Albany TX 76430, US|
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