LAKE PLACID — Robert E. LaHart, 86, of Parkside Drive in Lake Placid, passed away Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008 at the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake.
Born Sept. 28, 1922 in Lake Placid, he was the son of Henry and Anna (Murphy) LaHart.
He was a graduate of Lake Placid High School, class of 1940, and furthered his education by taking college courses in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
He married Patricia (Law) LaHart Sept. 30, 1948 at St. Agnes Church in Lake Placid.
Mr. LaHart enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aircraft worker on Dec. 12, 1942. He was honorably discharged from cadet training on Nov. 2, 1943 as aviation cadet. He enlisted into active duty on Nov. 3, 1943 in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
After flying school and advanced flying school, Bob was stationed with 51st Troop Carrier Division Squadron 62nd Troop Carrier Group, Mediterranean Theater, where he flew his unarmed and unarmored C-47 aircraft behind enemy lines in the Balkan States to air drop, with “precision accuracy,” vital supplies to troops on the ground. This and other missions earned Mr. LaHart the Distinguished Flying Cross.
He had also earned the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters and the European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon.
He fought in several battles and campaigns including in Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, southern France, northern Apennines, Po Valley and central Europe.
Following his discharge from the Army Air Corps, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, where he served until Sept. 28, 1957.
Bob had worked for the New York Telephone Company in Lake Placid and was a member of the New York Telephone Pioneers and the American Legion, Post 326, Lake Placid.
He is survived by his daughter Jerrilyn Johnson, of Lake Placid; two brothers: James LaHart and his wife Jean of Catonsville, Md. and Gerald Larhart and his wife Betty of Malone; his granddaughter Tori Thurston and her husband Jeremi, of Saranac Inn; two great-grandchildren: Kiera Rose Power and Bali Copper Thurston; and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
He was predeceased by his wife Patricia on Sept. 3, 1995 and his sister Kathleen Stowell, in November 2004.
A Mass of Christian burial was held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 16 at the St. Agnes Catholic Church in Lake Placid with the Rev. Patrick O’Reilly officiating. Cremation will follow. Burial will be at the convenience of the family at St. Agnes Cemetery .
The Clark Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.