Major (Ret) William E. Roberts Jr., of San Antonio, born November 16, 1923 went to be with the Lord on July 9, 2017. Bill will be remembered for his great sense of humor and willingness to lend a hand to friend and family. He was well liked and respected by all who knew him and will be missed. A Visitation will be held on Monday, July 17, 2017 from 7:00pm-9:00pm at Sunset Funeral Home. A Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, July, 18 2017 at 11 am followed by a reception at Cross Roads Church, 8102 Midcrown Dr., San Antonio, TX 78239. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Agape Ministry Inc., 127 Lanark, San Antonio, TX 78239, Attn: Ken Mamot, Executive Director.
Bill was born in McKeesport, PA to the late Mildred Beatrice Roberts and William E. Roberts Sr. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Betty May Sinclair Roberts of Alto, MI. Bill is survived by his second wife AhCook “Cookie” Lee Roberts, daughters Melissa Tuggey, Becky Roberts, and Step Daughter Barbara Brown (Charlie) of San Antonio, TX and son Col William E. Roberts III, USAF Ret (Patty) of Fredericksburg, VA, and four grandchildren; Christopher Tuggey, Katherine Tuggey, William E. Roberts IV (Becky), Sarah Roberts Karp (Garrett), great grandchild Midna Ivy Roberts, three step grandchildren; Lauren Swift, Jamie Uriegas (Nicholas), Jim Swift III and two step great grandchildren; Noah and Ellison Uriegas.
Bill left the Citadel his freshman year to enlist in the Army Air Corps in 1943. He served as an aerial gunner on B-17 aircraft with the 463rd Bomb Group, 15th Air Force. He had 203 combat hours and 2 enemy aircraft to his credit. On July 7, 1944 he was shot down on his 45th mission. He was held Prisoner of War for 11 months, and survived the Stalag Luft IV Long March in 1945; (https://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/The March (1945)). His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, Air Medal with eight Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Distinguished Unit Citation with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal,European-African-
Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with five Battle Stars, WWII Victory Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Former Prisoner of War Medal and is a member of the American Order of the French Croix de Guerre. He retired as a Major in 1964.
Undeterred from his goals after the war, he attended the University of Pittsburg and graduated in1948 with a BS in Pharmacy. He was recalled in 1949 to active duty to South Texas and finally settled in San Antonio for the last 61 years. Bill retired from his second career in Pharmacy and Law Enforcement as Director of Investigations with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy in the 1980s.
In retirement, Bill helped create the 463rd Bomb Group Historical Society (www.463rd.org), served as The National Director, American Ex-Prisoners of War and served as Commander, Texas Department of Ex-POWs with the San Antonio Chapter #1. He volunteered at the South Texas Veterans Affairs POW-MIA Office and Audie Murphy VA Hospital Pharmacy. Bill was a 32nd Degree Mason and served his brethren faithfully for 70 years. He regularly wrote columns for the South Texas Health Care System quarterly publication and worked with the Veterans of Greater San Antonio Area organization.
Posted in: Express News
Posted on: 2017-07-14
Link to original obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sanantonio/obituary.aspx?n=william-edd-roberts&pid=186083353&fhid=8909