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WWII vet from Greenland to be honored this week

Union Leader Correspondent

January 17. 2018 6:17PM
Lt. Col. Robert P. Kelley was assigned to the “Flying Skull Squadron” stationed at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts in World War II. (COURTESY)

GREENLAND — A 97-year-old World War II veteran is being mourned.

Lt. Col. Robert P. “Bob” Kelley passed away at St. Anne’s Nursing Home in Dover on Jan. 10.

Robert P. Kelley was born in Boston and enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet after high school.

Kelley was assigned to the “Flying Skull Squadron” stationed at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts. He and his squadron flew in more than 80 combat missions in the African, Mediterranean and Italian campaigns during World War II, according to his obituary.

“Bob, along with his squadron were heavily decorated for their courage and heroics, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge and European, African-Middle-Eastern Campaign Medal with 7 Bronze Service Stars,” his obituary states.

“After returning home from combat, Bob enrolled at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., earning his bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering. He also married the love of his life, Elizabeth C. Sedlacek.”

Kelley served in the U.S. Air Force, and flew with a fighter escort group during the Korean War. He contributed to national defense projects, including missile and NASA programs, his obituary says.

In 1966, Kelley retired from active military service and moved to Hudson, Mass., with his family. He worked for the Department of Defense until he retired in 1987.

Most recently, he and his wife lived in Greenland.

In addition to his wife, Kelley is survived by six children. The couple had eight children.

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