Robert Edward Curtin – 5/1/1922 – 8/16/2001

Robert Curtin

This post serves as a memorial to my Grandfather Robert E. Curtin.  I miss him very much and want to ensure he is never forgotten.

Columbus Dispatch

Columbus Dispatch Newspaper Group ArchiveSearch Result


SECTION: NEWSDATE: August 18, 2001

EDITION: Home Final

Page: 07BCURTIN Robert Edward Curtin, age 79, of Columbus, August 16, 2001 at Riverside Hospital. Born May 1, 1922, the first of three children to Forrest and Hettie Curtin. 1940 graduate of Columbus Aquinas High School, 1948 graduate of The Ohio State University, College of Business. Army veteran of WW II. First Lieutenant with the 10th Mountain Division, 616th Field Artillery, combat service in Italy. Career employee (1948-1982) of the Burroughs Corporation – (Retirement Party video). Longtime parishioner, St. Christopher Church and Immaculate Conception Church. Preceded in death by wife Marie Cummins Curtin. Survived by their five children, Kathy (John) Grady of Aurora, Oh., Robert E. Jr. (Lorraine) of Columbus, Connie (Tom) Benner of Columbus, Michael F. (Sharon) Curtin of Columbus and Mary (Dan) O’Rourke of Columbus; 11 grandchildren. Also survived by sister, Peg Grannon of Fort Wayne, Ind.; brother, Jerry Curtin of Springfield, Oh. Family will receive friends at the JOHN QUINT AND SONS FUNERAL HOME, 1177 W. Fifth Ave., Sunday 2-5 and 7-9 p.m. Rosary 8:30 p.m. Funeral Mass 10 a.m. Monday at Immaculate Conception Church, 414 E. North Broadway. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Marie Cummins Curtin Scholarship in Pharmacy, The Ohio State University Foundation c/o the College of Pharmacy, 500 W. 12th Ave., Columbus, Oh. 43210-1291.

Grandpa – War Notes
Before War 

  1. Grandma graduated in 1943. She was #1 in Pharmacy at OSU and #1 in the State.
  2. Grandpa started OSU in 1940 but war started on December 7th, 1941 so Grandpa didn’t graduate until 1948.
  3. Grandpa sitting at his desk at home and heard on the radio that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. –  Japs bought oil from the U.S. but Roosevelt shut it off so they attacked.
  4. 2 Years in the ROTC were mandatory at OSU. Grandpa went into advanced ROTC and so did his buddy McCarthy.
  5. Went to Fort Knox, Kentucky for summer training. Grandpa got sick and was sent to the hospital.  In the officer’s ward they said “Ever heard of General George Patton?”  Grandpa said “No.”  They said “You will!”
  6. Grandpa went back to OSU and took constant courses.
  7. A Corporal came in and said “How would all of you like to become Corporals?” (You had to be a Corporal to get into OCS – Officer Candidate School.”
  8. Sent whole group to North Carolina, Fort Bragg. Grandpa said it was “Hot as hell.”  Hottest summer in history.
  9. Grandpa got sick and was taking salt pills. Grandpa went to the orderly room and Grandpa’s father called and said they were going back to OSU.  Nobody believed Grandpa and he ended up winning a few hundred bucks on bets.  (Father knew President (President of OSU Howard Landis Bevis?) who knew Alben Barkley)
  10. Grandpa took more classes
  11. Grandpa couldn’t “see” engineering drawing (couldn’t understand) so the only reason he passed is because his girlfriend (Grandma) got an A.
  12. Was sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma where they got their Officer Commissions. It only took 13 weeks and they were known as “13 week wonders.”
  13. Four more weeks were added because of the US defeat at Kasserine Pass. The reason is that the officers could not read maps so an extra 4 weeks were added for map reading. Had to be a competent aerial photograph reader or no commission.
  14. Commanding officer at Fort Sill was #2 in Douglas MacArthur’s class at WestPoint.
  15. (102 Artillery) Only 12 remained in artillery – Others sent to infantry. Grandpa was very lucky to be placed in artillery.
  16. Grandpa was sent to 99th division at Camp Maxey. Couple of months that were very hot. He got orders to go to France.
  17. Most other platoons at 102% (2% excess)
  18. The 99th division’s first action was at the Battle of the Bulge.
  19. Grandpa went to Fort Meade, Maryland as excess. They didn’t know what to do with Grandpa. (Grandpa was part of the 2% excess and so wasn’t sent to France and the Battle of the Bulge.)
  20. Schedule –
    1. 6:00am – 1st Breakfast
    2. 7:30 – 2nd Breakfast
    3. 8:30 – Roll Call
    4. 11:00 – 1st Lunch
    5. 12:15 – 2nd Lunch
    6. First race at Laurel 1:00. 1943 Football season.  “V.O.C.O” – Verbal Order Commanding Officer.  Got leave 4-5 days.
  21. Grandpa got to go home for the OSU Michigan Game (November 20th – OSU lost 7-45) and Thanksgiving (November 25th) (extension OK’d for VOCO). They had to go to a certain office to ask for the leave with extension and the first question they were asked is, “When the hell did you guys get here?  If they had not asked for an extension they would have spent the war at Fort Meade as their records had been lost.  (Matt Note:  Reminds me of Catch-22 – NO records, they don’t exist!!  J  )
  22. McCarthy and Curtin – Both from Aquinas High School school and were together the entire time.

23. Luggage sent to North Dakota when came from Camp Maxey. Had no luggage. Told superiors they would not buy new stuff.  Found luggage and sent to Italy.

During the War

10th Mountain Division – World War 2

Robert Curtin’s World War Two Letters

  1. May 11th 1944 – Mother’s Day Letter
  2. December 24th, 1944 – Christmas Eve Letter

  1. Sent to Naples then to Florence
  2. 8th replacement depository between Florence and seaport in the Mediterranean. Commanding officer took him out in Florence, got him drunk and said he would send Grandpa and McCarthy to the same outfit. a.) Grandpa was assigned to the C Battery – 10th Mountain Division
    b.) McCarthy was assigned to the A Battery – 10th Mountain Division
  3. These were the days when the last of the Germans were in the Apennine Mountains.
  4. Grandpa reported into San Miniato. He got a letter from Aunt Marie which said “How do you like San Miniato?”  Nobody was supposed to know where they were!!  Grandpa could have gotten into big trouble but Joe McCarthy didn’t say anything.  “Aunt went out to dinner, found a map of Italy and just pointed and said he is close to here.”
  5. First Action – Was a forward observer to keep an eye on the Germans. Saw Germans in the Po Valley delivering weapons into a house disguised as a hospital.
  6. Grandpa called in for a ‘Fire mission’ on that hospital. Reply – “Sorry, we’ve shot up our allotted rounds for the day.”
  7. That night interdictory fire à Germans couldn’t see anything but shot up the hill that Grandpa was on.  Apennine Mountains.  Grandpa “very lucky to be alive.”  The following day they blasted out the Germans with tremendous firepower.
  8. After battle hard to see dead soldiers, animals, will never forget the stench.
  9. The German gas supply (located in Ploesti) was knocked out by a U.S. bombing raid. The Germans had to use animals to pull their weapons.
  10. Grandpa was relieved of “forward observer” to become a Battery Executive officer in charge of 4, 105mm Howitzer cannons. Went from the Apennine Mountains to the Po Valley and didn’t stop.
  11. A German Panzer Maus tank hit Grandpa’s third battle station. The blast turned a 2 ½ ton gun into smoke, completely destroyed.
  12. German column came from the North and said something in broken English. Grandpa thinks they might be trying to give themselves up. Grandpa orders the 4th gun section to fire on them in the Po Valley (Modena City).  Blew most up and captured the rest.
  13. At Lake Garda – Arco City (Northern Italy) Grandpa advanced May 2nd, 1945 and the Germans surrendered.
  14. President Truman orders them to go to North East Italy, then Caporetto, Slovenia (Grandpa saw women with guns on their shoulders) (Isonzo River) and keep Josip Broz Tito (Yugoslavia strong man) from seizing Trieste, Italy.
  15. Italians had built a huge monument to the worst defeat in WWI (Ossario di Oslavia)
  16. Tito was told not to cross the Isonzo River or the Americans would fire.
  17. That ended Grandpa’s fighting days.

After the War

  1. Grandpa went to Florence and Rome (Took dates with Italian girls begging for money. Grandpa afraid to shack with them. Just went to clubs)
  2. Naples to Florence – Everyone wanted to sell something (desperate for money) If anyone tried to sell them wine, they told them to get away and if ignored then they would shoot in the air to make them leave. (Kerosene wine made you blind.)
  3. Germans were glad to get out of the war.
  4. Went to Merano, Bolzano in the Tyrol Mountains.

Google Zoomable Map click HERE

Yellow – Start point (excluding Naples where Grandpa flew into)
Red – Action
Blue – Vacation afterwards

Interview about experience in World War II

Video Notes:
Wehrmachts – Marketenderware Verkauf in Freien Handel verboten’
“Sales in the Free Market are Prohibited” – and ‘Reserve a la Wehrmacht”

Grateful Nation Salutes 'Fog' Curtin
Grateful Nation Salutes ‘Fog’ Curtin

Grateful Nation Salutes ‘Fog’ CurtinCLICK HERE for complete article

National Archives page for Robert Curtin – Click Here

fold3 (by page for Robert Curtin – Click Here

Denver Public Library (Home of the 10th Mountain Division Archives)

Call Number:
Publisher, Date:
22 digital files (3.80 GB)
Bio/Organization Note:
Robert Edward “Fog” Curtin was born on May 1, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio and enlisted in the Army at Columbus, Ohio on June 23, 1942. He later went to officer’s candidate school in Fort Sill, Okla. where he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant on April 8, 1944. In 1945, Curtin joined the 10th Mountain Division in Italy as an officer with Battery C of the 616th Field Artillery Battalion. He later attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant before being dischared on May 4, 1946.Curtin died on August 18, 2001 in Columbus, Ohio
Collection contains personal photographs, correspondence, interviews, and clippings stored on 22 digital files.
Other Author:
Catalog record based on preliminary inventory.
Collection contains digital files only.
Contact Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado.
Robert Edward “Fog” Curtin was born on May 1, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio and enlisted in the Army at Columbus, Ohio on June 23, 1942. He later went to officer’s candidate school in Fort Sill, Okla. where he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant on April 8, 1944. In 1945, Curtin joined the 10th Mountain Division in Italy as an officer with Battery C of the 616th Field Artillery Battalion. He later attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant before being dischared on May 4, 1946.Curtin died on August 18, 2001 in Columbus, Ohio
Forms part of: 10th Mountain Division Resource Center Collection.
Collection is comprised of: 4 pdf files, 16 jpg files, 2 mp4 files
Gift; Matt Curtin; 2016.

Robert E. Curtin is also listed in the 10th Mountain Division national roster (Page. 188) which can be found in the appendix of the following book:

10th Mountain Division
10th Mountain Division

10th Mountain Division – Hardcover – June 1st, 1998
By: Randy W. Baumgardner

Amazon Link:  Click Here

Dispatch Article – Of Course It’s Not Too Cold To Play Golf

Birth: May 1st, 1922 – Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA
Death:  August 16th, 2001, Columbus, Franklin County Ohio, USA
Date of burial – August 20th, 2001

Resurrection Cemetery
Lewis Center, Delaware County
Ohio, USA
Plot: Garden of Visitation/Nativity, Lot 26, Space 5
Grave Coordinates: 40°08’49.1″N 83°00’48.8″W

Robert Edward Curtin Grave

Thoughts and memories about my Grandpa:

I’ll always remember Grandpa sitting in his lazy boy recliner, smoking his pipe, eating Planter’s Peanuts and watching World War II on the history channel.

We stayed overnight at my grandparent’s house a few times and one time in particular I remember very well.  Dinner was made and we were eating at the counter but I didn’t want to eat my vegetables.  Grandpa told me I needed to eat them but then Grandma said “Oh, Bob, he doesn’t need to eat them if he doesn’t want to.”  That was a great great moment and fit perfectly into the ideal of a Grandmother.

Grandma was carrying a TV on a tray but lost her balance and dropped it over Grandpa who was sitting in his Lazy-Boy recliner as usual.  He caught it, not from underneath but by its sides which was really impressive to me.

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/