Robert E. Poland was born on June 12, 1918 in Watertown, Massachusetts to Miriam K. and Frank Webber Poland. His older brother was Frank Jr.
Robert entered The Citadel at the beginning of the 1938-1939 academic year, and in his freshman year in Charleston, S.C , he was a member of Cadet Company M. Six feet tall with brown hair and blue eyes and weighing 160 pounds, he spent two years at the college before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps in November 1941.
He received training at Parks Air College, St. Louis, Missouri and at Randolph Field, Texas. He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant at Barksdale Field, Shreveport, Louisiana, and was promoted to Captain while serving with the AirTransport Command. He drove a 1941 Roadster convertible, married a young (more…)