Winters, Colonel Robert Earl
January 12, 1924 - December 13, 2018
Colonel Robert Earl Winters was born Dallas Texas on January 12, 1924. He died in Bonham Texas on December 13, 2018.
He studied aeronautics at the Dallas Technical Evening School and took flying instructions at Red Bird Airport. He received his Private Pilot’s License when he was 17 years old. Robert joined the Army Air Corps and was called to active duty in January 1943. After completion of Advanced Flying School at Moore Field, in Mission Texas, he was assigned to Herding Field in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to complete his training on the P-47 Thunderbolt. During the darkest hours of WW2 Robert was swiftly transferred to Boxted Airbase, in England, to fly with the renowned 56th Fighter Group.
As a member of the 62nd Squadron, of the 56th Fighter Group, he engaged in aerial combat with German aircraft and is credited with 4 enemy aircraft destroyed, 2 probably destroyed, and 3 damaged. He fought in both the Battle of Arnhem and the Battle of the Bulge, as well as conducting numerous air superiority sorties. His 65 completed missions included 288 combat hours of flight time. Robert emerged from the conflict a highly decorated officer and winner of the coveted Distinguished Flying Cross with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters.
At the end of WW2, Robert embarked of his future career in service of his country in the field of communications. As a student at the Communications Officers School at Las Vegas Air Force Base, he graduated first in his class. A rising star in the rapidly expanding field of electronics, he was awarded a Commendation medal for contributions in the development of mobile communication and navigational aids, that, ultimately, would be utilized, worldwide, by Rapid Deployment forces at unimproved forward bases.
This step marked the beginning of a life of learning and skill acquisition, that would see Robert graduate from the Air Force Command Staff College, but not until he had labored some ten years at night school. In 1960, he graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. Again, Robert distinguished himself by attaining the graduating status of Phi-Kappa-Phi.
Most individuals would have been satisfied with accomplishing what he had done thus far, but not this extraordinary man! In 1964 he was selected to attend the Maxwell Air War College. Robert completed requirements and received a Masters Degree in International Relations from George Washington University. Upon completion, he was assigned to the Directorate of Research and Development, Division Headquarters at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. For his work there in advanced, top secret, digital communications, he received Air Force Legion of Merit Medal.
In August of 1969 Robert retired from the Air Force and began his 10 years of work in the corporate electronics industry, for such giants as Rockwell International, and E-Systems, where he made significant contributions in the development of the Cruise Missile. During this period of his life he also attended the University of Austin Law School, and acquired his second Masters Degree in Computer Science from University of Texas at Dallas.
Robert was also the co-founder of the Dallas Chapter of the Happy Warriors.
Robert was the son of James and Victoria Winters of Dallas TX. In 1945 he married Nyna Marie Shipley of Dallas, TX and to his second wife Barbara Elizabeth Winters in 1966. Both wives preceded him in death. His sister Dorothy Parr of Dallas, TX also preceded him in death.
He is survived by his two sons Robert E. Winters Jr. of Cerrillos, NM, and Ronald L. Winters of Hawkins, TX. His grandchildren include James H. Winters of Hawkins TX and Christle L. Kelley of Tyler, TX. His great grandchildren are David Kelley, Abigail Kelley, Sarah Kelley, Rachel Kelley, and Hanna Kelley of Tyler.
Full Military Burial Services for Colonel Robert E. Winters will be held on Monday, January 7, 2019 at 1:00 pm at the Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery located at 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway Dallas, TX 75211
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