World War II Honor Roll

Robert A. Cain

Flight Officer, U.S. Army Air Force



Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: February 12, 1945
Buried at: Harleigh Cemetery
                  Haddon Avenue
                  Camden NJ

FLIGHT OFFICER ROBERT A. CAIN was a 1941 graduate of Collingswood (NJ) High School. He worked as a toolmaker for the Warren Webster Company in Camden NJ after graduation. 
   He entered the Army as an Aviation Cadet on December 10, 1942, and was called to active duty on February 24th of the following year. His training and travels took him to the following places:

             Birmingham Southern College, Birmingham AL
             Nashville TN
             Maxwell Field AL
             Jackson MS
             Walnut Ridge AR
             Spence Field, Moultrie GA          

On May 23, 1944, Robert Cain won his wings and was promoted to Flight Officer, at Spence Field. He was then sent to Richmond VA, to train as a fighter pilot. He was killed when the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter plane he was flying in crashed 40 miles from Norfolk VA. 

At 1430 EWT, a Republic P-47C and a Martin TB-26B collided in mid-air and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean 45 miles northeast of Norfolk Army Air Field, Norfolk, Virginia, killing P-47 pilot Flight Officer Robert A. Cain and four crewmembers aboard the bomber. Killed in the crash of the B-26 were Captain Wesley E. Barbour, pilot; Technical Sergeant Carl H. Bundy, engineer; Private John J. Termotto, radio operator; and Private Edward E. Altimus, tow-reel operator. 

The subject P-47C was flying in the number-three position of a three-ship flight that took off from Norfolk Army Air Field on an aerial gunnery mission. The P-47 flight rendezvoused with the subject B-26 target tow-ship and commenced the gunnery exercise, making about eight to ten passes at the target ship. The subject P-47 collided with the B-26 while pulling up after a firing pass. The P-47's starboard wing collided with the port wing of the B-26, severing the wings of both aircraft. The airplanes went out of control and fell into the sea. Pilots flying in the area observed three parachutes descending, but no airmen were found when rescue craft arrived in the area. Investigation revealed that Pvt. Termotto and Sgt. Bundy were struck by turning propellers when they bailed out, killing both instantly. Their parachutes apparently deployed because of the force of the impact. The bodies of Capt. Barbour and Pvt. Altimus were not recovered

 Flight officer Cain's body was recovered, and he was buried in Harleigh Cemetery, Camden NJ, where today  he lies next to his father, Robert B. Cain. 

From the pages of the

Camden, N.J. February 19, 1945

Robert A. Cain, 21, Pilot of P-47, killed near Norfolk Air Field

         A Westmont Army flier was killed last week in a plane accident 40 miles from the Norfolk Army Air Field, Va., where he was stationed.
         He is Flight Officer Robert A. Cain, 21, of 205 Emerald Avenue. He was a P-47 pilot.
         A War Department telegram to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. R.B. Cain gave no other information than the fact that he met his death in an airplane accident at the stated location.
         A graduate of Collingswood high School, Cain entered the Army Air Force in February 1943. He received his basic training at Walnut Ridge AR, and was graduated and commissioned at Spence Field, Moultrie GA. He took a postgraduate course at Eglinton Field and was expected to go overseas next month.
         He had been home on a short leave just a week before he met his death.
         He also is survived by two brothers, Elmer and Kenneth, and a sister Gladys. Funeral arrangements will be completed by the Foster Funeral Home, 800 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood NJ.

Collingswood Pilot is Killed in Crash at Sea

Flight Officer Robert A. Cain, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Cain of 205 Emerald Avenue, Collingswood NJ, was killed Friday when a Thunderbolt fighter plane he was flying crashed at sea 40 miles from Norfolk Va., He was 21.
   Cain had been stationed at the Army Air Base in Norfolk taking a transitional flying course before going overseas. A graduate of Collingswood High School, he worked for the Warren Webster Co. in Camden.
   Besides his parents he is survived by two brothers, Elmer and Kenneth, and a sister, Gladys. Funeral services will be held at 1 P.M. Thursday at the Foster funeral home, 800 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood. Interment will be in Harleigh Cemetery, Camden.

Emerald Avenue
Westmont NJ

July 2004

Photo Courtesy
Von Lechner

Thanks to Von Lechner and Robert Markham for their help in creating this page




* In 1944 Westmont had no post office. It was serviced by Collingswood, and Westmont addresses were often printed as Collingswood