Finding records of Berlin Airlift Service by Robert Whitehead?


My great grandfather supposedly served in the Berlin Airlift.

His name is Robert Seaborn Whitehead.

I have no pictures only family stories is there any way to confirm this?


Posted 2016-05-26T09:43:18.717

Reputation: 151



The "Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation" have a website with a fair amount of information. That includes "The Men Who Participated". That has a list of units that were involved, only some of which have crew lists linked. Fortunately, one of them is for the 12th Troop Carrier Squadron, which includes Robert S. Whitehead among its members.

The 12th Troop Carrier Squadron is covered briefly on Wikipedia, including deployments and activities. If Robert Whitehead was in the 12th, he saw action in quite a few places.

The 12th Troop Carrier Squadron (M) site (on Geocities, and a bit broken) has some information on one incarnation of the 12th from the 1950s, including some photos. Not all people are labelled. If Robert Whitehead was still in the squadron then, he may be one of the unknowns, and it could be worth further study. But their "known members" page doesn't list him, so he may well have moved on by 1950 or so.

There's even a book 12th Troop Carrier Squadron history in cartoons, 1940-1945 about the squadron's WWII exploits… in cartoons! It does not look easy or cheap to find, but a library may be able to get a copy for you.


Posted 2016-05-26T09:43:18.717

Reputation: 4 416

1Andy, could you edit your paragraph which begins "this site" to include some sort of title or description of the site? If link rot happens, we can try putting the underlying link into the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive, but if that fails, having some sort of title or webmaster's name which can be searched for makes it easier to find successor websites. Similarly, in the next paragraph, for future-proofing, it's better to list the title of the book rather than say "this book". Thanks! – Jan Murphy – 2016-05-26T15:48:06.083

1@JanMurphy - thanks, good points, I've made some changes. And I apologise: when I first went to that geocities website, it worked just fine, but now it opens extra frames of garbage and the text size is messed up. – AndyW – 2016-05-26T15:57:03.857


From I can see that your great grandfather certainly registered for the draft during World War 2:

These details:

Name:   Robert Seaborne Whitehead
Age:    50
Birth Date: 22 Jun 1892
Residence Year: 1942
Residence:  Ft Worth, Texas, USA

are from:

The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Draft Registration Cards for Fourth Registration for Texas, 04/27/1942 - 04/27/1942; NAI Number: 576252; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System; Record Group Number: 147

He also registered for the draft during World War I:

Name:   Bob Leaburne Whitehead
County: Lubbock
State:  Texas
Birthplace: Texas, United States of America
Birth Date: 22 Jun 1892


Registration State: Texas; Registration County: Lubbock; Roll: 1983384

At Google Books I found "Crossroads: A Southern Culture Annual" which, on page 49, mentions a Bob Whitehead who flew in the Berlin Airlift:

enter image description here

I think you will need to look for more records before you can establish the identity of the man in the two draft registrations and the man reported to have flown in the Berlin Airlift.


Posted 2016-05-26T09:43:18.717

Reputation: 10 741

What makes you believe Bob Leaburne Whitehead and Robert Seaborn Whitehead are the same person? – William – 2016-05-26T22:09:33.353

@William Both records have the same birth date and very similar names. – PolyGeo – 2016-05-26T22:46:34.540