Robert G. Pugh
1 Lt
U. S. Army Air Corps
Iraq War
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 06/28/1943 - 11/08/1945
Navigator, Pathfinder Group

Robert was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, as the youngest of three children of Lamar Oren Pugh and Eulalie Wolf Burnette Pugh. His family lived at 435 Dalzell. After his parents separated (they later divorced), he moved with his mother, two brothers and a sister to 1204 Oaken Street. His mother rented out three apartments and sold sandwiches at Robert's school, St. John's. Robert worked for a dollar a day at Big Chain, from 6:30 a.m. to "eight or nine at night." He graduated from St. John's in 1941, and entered Centenary College, where work and classes took almost all day and night. "I didn't go to sleep. I couldn't afford to," he says of his schedule. He sold advertisements as business manager of the student paper, worked at the post office, and "drilled the band as well as a girl's marching unit." Robert entered the U.S. Army in June of 1943 after passing a cadet examination for flight. He went to basic training in Amarillo, Texas. At Hondo, Texas, he flew an A-10. He graduated as a navigator in November of 1944, and shipped out on the Queen Elizabeth, landing at the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Stationed at Chalgrove, a Royal Air Force base near Oxford, England, he was assigned to a C-47, a "gooney bird" as that plane was called, which transported paratroopers and cargo. Usually, he says, his plane carried about eighteen paratroopers. He also pulled gliders, three at a time. Most missions lasted about four hours. Because his unit's planes were equipped with radar, they could drop supplies into besieged Bastogne, while weather in those December days of 1944 kept other aircraft grounded. Robert was sent into France at Charts. He dropped troops over Wessel, Germany on March 24, 1945. At war's end he was transferred to the 313th Airborne Group, which was ordered to return to America. He was discharged November 8, 1945, but remained in the reserves. Returning to St. Johns, Robert taught world history and the military program. After a year he earned a degree in accounting at Centenary, then entered law school at LSU in Baton Rouge, where his roommate was the future Louisiana governor, Edwin Edwards. He finished law school in 1949 and set up practice in Shreveport. He also opened an office in Coushatta and saw clients on Friday and Saturday. Robert married Jo Ann Powell on May 15, 1952. The couple would have three children and four grandchildren. All three children later worked with him in his law firm--his two sons as lawyers and his daughter as a paralegal. Robert was called up for duty in the Korean War and flew B-29s out of Barksdale as part of the 302nd Bombardment Squadron of the 301st Bombardment Wing. He did not go to Korea, but often flew to Europe, "right up to the Russian line and turn around and come back." Robert left the reserves January 19, 1953. "I had paid the piper," he says of fulfilling his military obligation. Returning to his law practice he focused on constitutional law, once arguing three cases with his son, Robert, before the U.S. Supreme Court. "It was the first time in the history of the court that a father and son argued on the same day." In all, Robert says he has argued five cases before the highest court in the land.