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  • WWII Repatriation - PVT Robert Gruwell, USA, Ontario/Manifee: June 02, 2023

Author Topic: SHORT NOTICE - WWII Repatriation - Pvt. Robert R Gruwell USA, Ontario 2 Jun Pt 1  (Read 407 times)

John Gretzinger

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WWII Repatriation Part 1.

United States Army, Pvt. Robert R Gruwell was Killed In Action 15 August 1944

Pvt. Gruwell will be brought home on Friday, June 2, 2023, to be laid to rest 78 years after being killed defending our nation.

Pvt. Gruwell was a member of the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), which was a part of the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team (PRCT). Pvt. Gruwell was Killed in Action, during Operation Dragoon, the Invasion of Southern France. He was buried by unknown person(s) in an unknown grave.

Private (Pvt.), Robert R. Gruwell was born in Los Angeles, CA on October 8, 1923. He was inducted into the United States Army (Army), on January 19, 1943, at the age of 20.

On August 15, 1944, Operation Dragoon, the invasion of Southern France began. Early in the morning of August 15, 1944, some French Resistance Fighters, and men of the 517th PIR, set up an ambush at a crossroads just south of Callian by blocking the intersection. A short time later, a small German convoy of vehicles, including a bus with red crosses painted on it, arrived at the intersection. Some, but not all, of the vehicles turned back. Seeing the red crosses painted on the bus, the resistance fighters believed that the men inside the bus may be sick or wounded, but some of the men on the bus were armed. Some resistance fighters believed that since some of the men on the bus were armed, they were not 100% sick. One resistance fighter believed that Gestapo men were attempting to escape. Someone on the bus with red crosses began firing and a firefight erupted. During this firefight, Pvt. Gruwell apparently threw a hand grenade at the bus and was killed in the resulting explosion. Exactly how Pvt. Gruwell was killed is not known.

NOTE: This mission posting facilitates your voluntary participation in honoring this WW II Army Hero. For those interested, and all PGR members are welcome, we will be meeting our hero and his family at Ontario International Airport and accompanying them to the mortuary.

NOTE:This mission involves an aircraft arrival. Arrival times can change at the last minute so please check this thread for any last minute changes before leaving.

Time Line for Friday, 2 June 2023:

1300 - Stage at Jack In The Box, 2458 S Vineyard Ave, Ontario, CA 91761,

1330 - Mission Briefing

1400 - KSU to arrival location

1430 - est KSU to Evans-Brown Mortuary, 27010 Encanto Dr., Menifee, CA 92585

1515 - est arrival at Evans-Brown

1520 - Flag line as our hero is moved from the coach to the mortuary.

R/C Tom Barry
California PGR State Captain

You do not have to be a Veteran or a motorcycle rider to attend this mission. All PGR members are welcome. We encourage those who do not ride to attend in your car. If this is your first mission, go to the initial staging area, and you will be briefed by the R/C (Ride Captain). Dress for motorcycle riding or wear casual attire while driving a cage (car). Please feel free to attend any portion of this mission you can. Please ride/drive safely.

Remember that our mission is to stand tall and silent with honor and respect for our Heroes—no talking, smoking, or cell phone use during the flag line or service. Please keep the radios off and engine noise to a minimum. Show respect to all who are there, not just the ones we honor.
John D. "Major" Gretzinger
MAJ, AVN, USA (Ret.)
61st Avn Co (AHC) - Lucky 15
Administrator - SoCal PGR Mission Ops
Assistant State Captain, Southern California PGR