Sending him a birthday card?
his address is:
Western Hills Retirement Center,
6210 Cleves Warsaw Rd.,
Cincinnati, OH 45233.
Hometown Hero Bob Doolan turning 105 on March 21.
Bobgrew up in Price Hill, attended Holy Family Grade School, and graduated from St. Xavier High School. He attended the University of Cincinnati, graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering. While training in Kansas, he met a girl who would become his wife for over 70 years. Bob enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 and after washing out of pilot training, he served as a B-17 Navigator with the 8th Air Force, 92nd Bomb Group, 326th Bomb Squadron. Rising to the rank of First Lieutenant, his unit went to England where they flew missions over Germany. Bob was on his 13th mission in 1943 when his B-17 was shot and forced to land in a field, in Holland.
Members of the crew, who were able, left the plane in groups of two or four and scattered. The first night Bob and his companion were able to stay at a Dutch farmer’s barn, where they were given civilian clothing that made them appear to be poor workers trying to get to a work area. He had one item he treasured dearly “his St. X ring”. He gave it to the farmer because it would be a dead giveaway that he was an American.After spending 21 days attempting to escape to Den Haag in Holland with the help of the Dutch Underground, Bob was captured along with his pilot, by the Gestapo. He was questioned and put in prison for several days. He was then sent to a POW camp run by the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) where he was kept at Stalag Luft 3 for two years, the POW camp made famous in the movie The Great Escape. As the Allied Forces advanced, in January 1945, Bob and the other prisoners were marched to another camp from which they were later liberated, by units of General Patton’s Third Army.
He returned home to Cincinnati where he and his wife raised their family, a son and two daughters. He served 25 years as a Scoutmaster of a troop St. Antoninus Church was sponsoring. He has been a member of the Dunham Choraliers and has given various presentations for the Lifelearn Program. In later years when a St. X student heard the story of Bob giving away his treasured ring, the school gave him a duplicate which he still has and still treasures.
Bob is a humble man who doesn’t feel he is a hero, he says he just did what anyone else would do.