WWII paratrooper being remembered SaturdayRobert Lee Vannatter Jr., 91, who parachuted into Europe with the 507th Paratrooper Infantry Regiment, died Aug. 27, and his life is being celebrated from 1-4 p.m. tomorrow at the Veterans Memorial Building, 301 Main St. Friends and fellow veterans are invited to attend.
Last year Mr. Vannatter was awarded the French Legion of Honor for his heroic efforts in the liberation of France during the earliest hours of the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944. He later fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was among the first of the Allies to enter Germany.
Mr. Vannatter was born in Gauley Bridge, W. Va., on March 8, 1921, where he dropped out of high school to work in the coal mines to help support his family. After the war, he married Avis May Whitlock, who died in 1975. With assistance through the G.I. Bill and attending the University of Dayton, he became an engineer by profession, and worked in the aerospace industry in Burbank and Sunnyvale for more than 35 years.
He is survived by sons Michael Vannatter (Betty) and Daniel Vannatter (Sharon) and daughter Susan Vannatter-Prang (Greg); three grandchildren; and one of his six siblings, Glenna Robinson.