A native of Galesburg, Illinois, Bob Brodine joined the Navy at age 17 on July 1, 1943. He liked math and science and wanted to be a meteorologist. Either that or a submarine man. The Navy sent him to radio school and made him a “countermeasures” expert whose duty it was to jam enemy radar.
Bob was aboard a specially equipped PB4Y-2s–the Navy’s version of the B-24–near Iwo Jima on April 8, 1945 when his crew got lost, ran out of gas, and ditched into the Pacific Ocean. The 13 crew members survived aboard two life rafts for four days before being rescued by an American submarine, the USS Queenfish. Soon Bob was back in action, which included coming under heavy fire by three Zeros off the coast of Japan. On the day of the Japanese surrender, his plane tried to land on the Japanese mainland and it was fired upon by enemy machine gunners that hadn’t gotten news that the war was over.
Bob returned home in December 1945 and went to college on the GI Bill, graduating from Purdue University in 1949.