WWII story of Robert Kerr - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

WWII story of Robert Kerr

"I lived there til I was 22 years old," Robert Kerr said when talking about his childhood in Hudson.  Kerr graduated high school in 1942.  "Then Dad moved to Fredericka and I helped him move and then I went into the service."

Robert Kerr was drafted during World War II.  Kerr trained on coastal artillery and later served as an M-P in North Africa.

"That was quite a change for a farm boy," Kerr said.  "I walked up that plank in New York and I said we didn't know where we were going or the duration plus six months that's all we knew."

Toward the end of the war, Robert went on to fight in Italy's Apennine Mountains and Po Valley.

"I got my machine gun trained so I could hit that house," Kerr described the final battle he would fight in.  "Our ammo had one tracer bullet every five, so you could see where you were putting them and it set the house on fire. Pretty quick, we had a white flag waving at the door and there were seven or eight Germans came out. We were getting along real good and around that time, just shortly after that, a shell hit the gun next to me, killed the guys that was on it and then they pulled us out.  Shell hit and I thought about that guy. We had several of them killed in the.. just, the last shot that was fired, last one that was fired at us, and he got it. He was just like me, never been hit, and that was it."

After the war, Robert Kerr returned to his farm in Tama County and eventually moved outside Tripoli.  He's lived on the same farm for 50 years.  While he was overseas, his future wife, and fiance at the time, worked at John Deere where she processed war bonds bought by factory workers.

Stories like Robert's are part of the Veterans Project of the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum in Waterloo.  Their goal is preserve the stories of the men and women serving in uniform.

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