PVT Robert James Windish

Unknown Sailor

PVT Robert James Windish

Robert James Windish was a track star at Central High School in St. Louis in the 1930s.

He lettered in the sport from 1935 to 1937, competing in the 75-yard low hurdles, the high jump, broad jump, shot put, and on a relay team.

When he graduated in 1938 the yearbook described him thusly: “We have a record-breaker here — This really handsome boy. Who in the world of contest sports, Brought Central pride and joy.”

By the time of the 1940 Census, he was a fitting clerk at an electric company in St. Louis, as was his older brother, John.

He enlisted in the Marines on Jan. 7, 1941, and was a private on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

Mr. Windish was born June 13, 1920 in Missouri – likely St. Louis where his family lived in January 1920 – to Hungarian immigrants Anna Buechler Windish, a homemaker, and John Windish, a steel worker.

His brothers also served in the military — John, in the Army in World War II and Edward in the Army in the Korean War. Both survived.


Sources: The St. Louis (Missouri) Star & Times; the St. Louis Globe-Democrat; the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; 1938 Central High yearbook; WWI draft registration card; Census; Marine muster roll; Pannonia ship passenger list. Marine photo. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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