WW2 Training Mission Casualty: Manchester’s Sgt. Robert W. Lewis (1922-1942).

Photograph of Francis P. Lally recognition plaque, located in Manchester NH at the corner of South Main and A Streets. Copyright of Martin Miccio for the City of Manchester, and used here with permission.

Photograph of Sgt. Robert W. Lewis recognition plaque, located in Manchester NH at the corner of Massabesic Street and Mammoth Road. Copyright of Martin Miccio for the City of Manchester, and used here with permission.

Another Military Square was added following World War 2, the ordinance passed on 16 December 1947 and signed by Mayor Joseph T. Benoit as follows: “That the square located where Massabesic Street, Hayward Street, Candia Road, and Mammoth Road intersects, be official designated … as Robert W. Lewis Square.” The plaque reads: “SGT. ROBERT W. LEWIS. Born May 6, 1922. Died November 2, 1942. Lakeland, Florida. “

Photo of Robert Walter Lewis from his 1941 High School graduation yearbook, Oracle.

He was the older son of Walter F. & Mary L. (Rowell) Lewis, born 6 May 1922 in Manchester, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. He grew up in the vicinity of 1166 Hayward Street, attending the local Manchester schools. His military enlistment papers state that he had four years of high school, stood just over 6 feet (73 inches) tall, and weighed 164 pounds.

He enlisted in the US Army Air Corps on 2 Jan 1942 and was assigned to 450 Bomb

Newspaper article

Newspaper article–Wednesday, November 4, 1942; Springfield Republican (Springfield MA), page 4

Squadron of the 322nd Bombardment Group which moved up from MacDill Field for 2d phase combat training at Lakeland Air Force Base in Florida, arriving in late September.  According to a 1942 newpaper article, “the names of the six victims in the crash of a medium bomber from the Lakeland army air base near Gardner, about 10 miles from Arcadia” included that of “Serg. Robert W. Lewis, Manchester N.H., engineer.” The article goes on to state that the crash occurred on a regular training flight.

This above information is confirmed by both the Florida Death Index, placing the location of Robert W. Lewis’s death in Hardee County, Florida.  He is buried in his family’s plot in Pine Grove cemetery, Manchester NH.



John Lewis, son of Hezekiah Lewis, was b. 15 Aug 1775 in Watertown, MA, and died 23 Feb 1850 in Pembroke NH. According to the History of Pembroke NH 1730-1895, he removed to Pembroke NH about 1800. He married 25 November 1802 to Jane Noyes of Bow NH. She was b. 10 Aug 1782 in Bow NH and d. 27 Dec 1866 in Lawrence MA.
Children of John & Jane (Noyes) Lewis: [born in Pembroke NH]
1. William Lewis, b. 18 Jan 1804; m. 13 Sep 1826 Mary Eaton. He d. 16 April 1880. She d. Aug 1880.
2. Eliza Jane Lewis, b. 4 July 1805; m. 22 Apr 1828 to Nathaniel Currier of Candia NH; they resided in Suncook NH
3. George Washington Lewis, b. 4 June 1807; m. Caroline Whiteside of New Orleans; d. there 18 Jan 1837.
4. Hannah Noyes Lewis, b. 13 Feb 1809; m. 17 Jan 1830 Amos Martin of Vermont; d. 13 May 1831.
5. John Adams Lewis, b. 28 Aug 1811; drowned in the Suncook River 26 April 1823.
6. Hiram Lewis, b. 28 July 1813;p m. Louisa Smith; d. 1864 near Morristown NJ
7. Olive Gay Lewis, b. 16 July 1815; m. 25 March 1878 True William Hill; resided Alton Bay NH
8. Willmene Lewis, b. 16 Mah 1817; d. 23 March 1819
9. +Joseph Lewis, b. 31 July 1819; m. Mary J. Lear
10. Nancy Follansbee Lewis, b. 2 Nov 1824; m. 4 June 1848 Benning Carter Noyes; resided Lawrence MA
10. John Quincy Adams Lewis, b. 1 Jan 1828; m. Rebecca England Lawler

Joseph Lewis, son of John & Jane (Noyes) Lewis, b. 30 July 1819 in Pembroke NH, and died 22 Feb 1875; He m. 22 Dec 1842 in Hooksett NH to Mary Jane Lear, daughter of Alexander S. “Alick” & Mary Jane (Wiggin) Lear of Epsom NH (her father was a blacksmith, and a cousin to Tobias Lear, secretary to President George Washington). She was b. 3 March 1822 in Allenstown NH, and died 15 April 1902 in Pembroke, NH  . They resided in Suncook NH.
Hugh Lear (1600-?) & Joanna (c1600-?)
Hugh Lear (1641-?) & Mary Savage
John Lear (1672-1746) & Hannah
Samuel Lear (1706-1750) & Mary Lucy (1710-1761)
Alexander Lear (1741-?) & Sarah Cook (1744-1778)
Samuel Lear 1862-1842 & Sally Salter (1771-1836)
Alexander Salter Lear (1793-1863) & Mary Jane Wiggin
Mary Jane Lear who married Joseph Lewis
1850 US Census > NH > Merrimack > Allenstown
Joseph Lewis 30 Painter
Mary J. Lewis 27
Ananna A. Lewis 6
George A. Lewis 5
Frank P. Lewis 3
Charles H. Lewis 2
Sarah J. Lewis 0
1870 US Census > NH > Merrimack > Pembroke
Joseph Lewis 51 M W Painter 1400 200 NH
Mary J. Lewis 48 NH
Sarah Lewis 18 NH
John H. Lewis 16 NH
Freddie S. Lewis 14 NH
Mary O. Lewis 12 NH
Julia Lewis 8 NH
Children of Joseph & Mary Jane (Lear) Lewis:
1. Arianna Augusta Lewis, b. 21 April 1842; m. Levi L. Aldrich
2. George Alonzo Lewis, b. 13 July 1845; m. Mary Bean
3. Frank Pierce Lewis, b. 9 March 1847; d. 15 Aug 1864 in New York City; soldier
4. Charles Henry Lewis, b. 19 June 1848; m. 25 Dec 1874 to Minnie Armenia Perkins of Huntington MA; resided Springfield MA. They had 2 children: Lillie and Raymond Harrison.
5. Sarah Jane Lewis, b. 1 April 1850; m. William Bean; resided Manchester NH; no children
6. Joseph Mathers/Matthew Lewis, b. 30 April 1851 Suncook NH ; he died 13 March 1919 in Altamont Springs, Seminole Co., Florida; married Celia F. Tracey.
7. John Hiram Lewis, b. 28 Jan 1854; m. Lucy Campbell of Suncook. Child: Frank May Lewis, b. 1882
8. +Fred Spalding Lewis, b. 18 Sep 1856; m1) Mary Higgins; m2) Annie M. Reid
9. Mary Olive Lewis, b. 14 Oct 1858; m. 9 Nov 1879 John Henry Quimby of Concord NH; resided Concord
10. Juliette Etta Lewis, b. 13 March 1861; m. 9 Jan 1885 to Walter Samuel Cass of Epsom NH. He was b. 10 Aug 1860. Child: Lewis Walter, b. 7 Aug 1887.
11. Evara Sophronia Lewis, b. 30 Jan 1863; d. Oct 1866

Frederick Spalding “Fred” Lewis, son of Joseph & Mary (Lear) Lewis, was b. 18 Sep 1856 in Suncook, NH, and died 18 Sep 1928 at Elliot Hospital in Manchester NH. He was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery; He married 1st) 31 August 1878 in Manchester NH to Mary Higgins, daughter of Abram & Elizabeth (?) Higgins. He married 2nd) 26 July 1882 in Manchester NH to Anne M. “Annie” Ried/Reed, daughter of Robert & Johannah Ried. She was b. Dec 1861 in West Farnum, PQ, Canada, and died before 1928. They were living at 167 Mammoth Road in 1900.
1900 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester
LEWIS, Frederick S Head W M Sep 1856 43 married 17 yrs NH NH NH plumber
Lewis, Annie M. wife W F Dec 1861 38 married 17 yrs 6 ch 6 living Can Can Can
Clarence A R W M Sep 1885 14 single NH NH Can
Frederick E son W M Sep 1887 12 single NH NH Can
Charles R. sonm W M Jan 1890 10 single NH NH Can
Mary L. dau W F May 1893 7 single NH NH Can
Walter A son W M March 1897 3 single NH NH Can
John E son W M March 1898 2 single NH NH Can
Children of Frederick & Annie Maria (Reed) Lewis:
1. Clarence Arthur Reed Lewis, b. Sept 1885 NH; m. 10 Nov 1908 in Manchester NH to Estella Alice Hitchcock, dau of George M. & Alice (York) Hitchcock
2. Frederick E. Lewis, b. Sept 1887 NH
3. Charles R. Lewis, b. January 1890 NH
4. Mary L. Lewis, b. May 1893 NH
5. +Walter Frank Lewis, b. March 1897 NH
6. John E. Lewis, b. March 1898 NH

Walter Frank Lewis, son of Frederick S. & Annie Maria (Reed) Lewis, b. March 1897 NH and died September 1982 in Manchester NH; He m. 20 April 1917 in Manchester NH to Mary Louise Rowell, dau of Frederick & Amelia Emily (Harwood) Rowell. She b abt 1895 NH or VT. Resided 1166 Hayward Street Manchester NH
1930 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester
Walter Lewis 33
Mary Lewis 34
Dorothy Lewis 9
Robert Lewis 7
Doris Lewis 5
Jack Lewis 3
Fred Rowell 60
1940 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 1166 Hayward Street
Walter Lewis 43 NH plumber steam fitter
Mary Lewis wife 45 NH
Dorothy Lewis 19 F NH Daughter
Robert Lewis 17 M NH son
Doris Lewis 15 F NH daughter
John Lewis 13 M NH son
Frederich Rowell M 70 NH father-in-law
1941 Manchester NH City Directory
LEWIS, Clarence A R (Estella A) carp h 1158 Hayward
— Dorothy Mary shoe wkr r 1166 Hayward
–Robt W student r 1166 Hayward
–Walter F (Mary L) plmbr 1166 Hayward h do
Children of Walter F. & Mary L. (Rowell) Lewis:
1. Dorothy May Lewis, b. 17 Sep 1920 Manchester NH, died 23 Aug 1999; She married Harold J. Hill.
2. **Robert W. Lewis, b. 6 May 1922 Manchester NH [subject of this story]
3. Doris Lewis b 14 August 1924 Manchester NH, d. 3 Nov 2014.  She married Wilfrid “Bill” Ott on 18 Nov 1944, in Boise, Idaho. Children: Mark and Kathy.
4. John Frederick “Jack” Lewis, b. 29 Nov 1926 Manchester NH, d. 26 Jan 2002; m. 7 April 1947 in Manchester NH to Clarisse Louise Murphy, daughter of Leander & Adeline (Porleau) Murphy. She was b abt 1929.

[Editor’s Note: This article is one of several I have written at the request of Don Pinard, Department of Public Works, Chief of Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Division, City of Manchester, New Hampshire.  It is a volunteer project (on my part) to better record and share the stories of the men memorialized by the city’s “Military Squares.”  All the information specifically within the body of this project is shared copyright free with the City of Manchester and its representatives, with the exception of photographs provided by family or friends who still retain whatever rights conveyed to them by law.]


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