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Home Town Seattle
Last Address Frisco, Texas
Date of Passing Jun 27, 2005
Location of Interment Texas State Cemetery - Austin, Texas
Wall/Plot Coordinates Sec.1.Row B, #13
Last Known Activity Robert Galer was promoted to BGen upon his retirement on July 31, 1957. He lived a long and productive retirement passing away at the age of 91 on June 27, 2005.
Other Comments: 1. BGen Galer was also awarded the British Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions during the Solomon Islands Campaign in 1942.
2. In 1945, while serving as the Training Officer of the Landing Force Air Support Control Units (LFASCU's) LtCol Galer made three D-day landing in 65 days. First Came Iwo Jima. He was able to witness the Mt. Surabachi flag raising. Second was the landing in the Philippines. Third was the Okinawa landings.
3. BGen Galer scored 13 air victories ("kills") in WWII.
Marine Fighter Squadron (VMF) 224 was commissioned on 1 May 1942 at Barbers Point, Hawaii. Flying Grumman F4F Wildcats, the Bengals entered WWII as part of the vaunted Cactus Air Force stationed on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal. Led by Medal of Honor recipient Maj Robert Galer, the squadron accounted for over sixty Japanese aircraft being destroyed in less than two months. The squadron also conducted infantry support missions while under constant attack from Japanese Naval, Air, and Ground Forces. VMF-224’s superb performance contributed significantly to the American victory at Guadalcanal, which in turn, helped stem the tide of the Japanese advance across the Southern Pacific and secured a crucial foothold in the long island-hopping campaign to Japan.
After Guadalcanal, the squadron was refitted with the Vought F4U Corsair and participated in the Marshall Islands Campaign. The spring of 1945 found VMF-224 participating in the last great battle of the Pacific Campaign. Arriving on Okinawa one week after the battle had begun, the squadron operated for the duration of the campaign from the newly captured airfield at Yomitan. Throughout the desperate struggle for Okinawa, the Bengals flew infantry support and counter air missions accounting for an additional fifty-five enemy aircraft being destroyed.