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This Day in Norwood History-January 14, 1944-Air Hero Robert E. Grow Helped Destroy Rumanian Oil Field

Tech. Sergt. Robert E. Grow, son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert G. Grow, of Norwood, has been awarded the Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Oak Leaf Cluster, for his part in the daring Ploesti oil field raid in Ruranai last August.

Radioman and an aerial gunner on a B-24 Liberator bomber. Grow and his crew made the 2400-mile flight in seven hours. It was on this mission that -12 percent of the Rumanian oil refining capacity was destroyed. Of the 177 attacking Liberators, 53 failed to return Flying- as low as 10 feet from the ground, some of the returning bombers found corn-stalks in the bomb bay doors after landing at their home bases.

Sergt. Grow has been in the Army Air Forces since April, 1942, and graduated from radio school at Scott Field, Illinois. He later attended aerial gunnery school at Harlingen, Texas, graduating in November, 1942, with a staff seargnancy and silver wings.

He was given a furlough in April, 1943, and just before coming home was promoted to technical sergeant.

Born in Roslindole 27 years ago, Sgt. Grow attended Washington Irving and English High schools. He served as altar boy for six years at Holy Name Church.

On his way overseas his plane was forced down at Westfield, which enabled his parents and fiancee, Miss Helen .”Armstrong of Norwood, to pay him a surprise visit. They were also on hand when his plane took off again.

As of September, 1943, Sergt. Grow had completed 15 missions.

A younger brother Donald E., 21, is a member of the Marine Corps, recently invalided back to the States and at the U. S. Naval Hospital, Sun Valley, Idaho. Donald, who enlisted 10 months ago, is married to the former Priscilla Robinson of Norwood.

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