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.
The Lewis Military Square was added following World War II. The ordinance passed on December 16, 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 officially designated … as Robert W. Lewis Square.”
The plaque reads, “SGT. ROBERT W. LEWIS. Born May 6, 1922. Died November 2, 1942. Lakeland, Florida.“
He was the older son of Walter F. and 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.
Newspaper article Wednesday, November 4, 1942. Springfield Republican (Springfield MA), page 4.
Lewis enlisted in the US Army Air Corps on January 2, 1942, and was assigned to the 450th Bomb Squadron of the 322nd Bombardment Group. He moved with his group from MacDill Field for the second phase of combat training to Lakeland Air Force Base in Florida, arriving in late September. According to a 1942 newspaper 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.
The Florida Death Index confirms the information, placing the location of Robert W. Lewis’s death in Hardee County, Florida. He is buried in Pine Grove cemetery in Manchester.
Posted on 9 May, 2014 by Janice Brown