Robert Emile Budd was born on Oct. 2, 1922 in Detroit, Michigan. His mother, Berthe, was a homemaker born in Paris, France and his father, David Benjamin, a builder born in London, England.
By the time of the spring 1940 Census, Robert was identified as a general helper for a construction firm — possibly the one his father owned by then. Robert was no longer in school but had completed three years at Cooley High in Detroit, where he played football. He worked six weeks in 1939 and earned $90.Young Mr. Budd enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 8, 1940. He was a fireman second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.