Robert W. Crooker was born in 1922 in Kansas, as the son of Warner and Lowise Crooker. He had 4 years of high school education and his civil occupation listed “Structural-and ornamental-metal workers”. Before enlisting Rob was working at an aircraft plant in Detroit Michigan working on B17 and P47 airplanes. At that time, all the guys were going away to the service, so he decided to go in as well.
Robert Crooker enlisted (#16152030) just one year after Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1942 in Detroit, Michigan and then he went to Camp Claiborne, Louisiana where he took his basic training as a Combat Engineer with the 103rd Infantry Division and took part in the Louisiana Maneuvers.
After he passed the test for the Army Air Corps he received flight training in Iowa and when was scheduled to go to Santa Ana, California for pre flight the order came that all former ground force members had to go back for the big push in Europe. Rob Crooker went back to the infantry and joined the 97th Infantry Division in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He arrived in the European theater (ETO) just after the Battle of the Bulge. He landed by ship in the port of Le Havre, France. Then he moved to Aachen, Germany and fought his way through Germany as a part of Company D, Dog Company, a heavy weapons company equipped with 81-mm mortars and .30- and .50-caliber machine guns. Rob was in a mortar squad that was attached to A, B and C Companies of the 303rd Infantry Regiment, and they were right behind them. They eventually became part of Patton’s Third Army. Near the end of the war, his regiment liberated a German concentration camp, filled with Jewish people from around Europe, and numerous villages in what is now the Czech Republic.
After the war, Rob graduated from college, worked as a commercial artist, then as a Dale Carnegie instructor and then spent 30 years as a pharmaceutical company sales trainer in New Jersey and California.