News from Adair County
Robert Conover Frazier, author of the following essay, was born in 1924 in Wheeling, West Virginia. However, his parents, Thomas Alexander Frazier & Cecile A. Conover, were natives of Adair County and were members of some Adair County's most distinguished families.
Robert lived -- and died -- by the words of which he so passionately wrote: duty, devotion, and responsibility. He volunteered for the Army Air Corps and was enlisted in early December, 1942, at the age of 18½ years. By the fall of 1944, he had risen to the rank of First Lieutenant and was stationed in Saipan as a flight navigator on a B-29 Superfortress.
On January 27, 1945, the plane Lt. Frazier was aboard was shot down over Japan; he was 20 years. seven months and five days old. His remains were repatriated 1949 and buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Transcribed from the June 25, 1941 edition of the Adair County (KY) News, page three.
Robert Conover Frazier Winner of B.P.O. Elks Contest
Robert Frazier, 429 Main Street, Wheeling high school student, won first award, $75, in the Wheeling lodge, No, 28, B.P.O. Elks, national patriotic essay contest, entitled "What Uncle Sam Means To Me."
The essay follows:
"When our forefathers created the United States of America, they set into motion the greatest experiment in all the history of mankind. They had created a government based on the principles of liberty, justice, and equality, and trusted in the ability of the people to govern themselves and to maintain those principles. For over a hundred and fifty years--through war, peace, depression, prosperity--the people of this country have justified that trust and have held sacred those principles. Now there is growing up in America [a] new generation, a generation into whose hands will be passed the responsibility of keeping those principles alive; and whether or not they will succeed depends largely on what their country means to them.
"To me America means freedom--the freedom of speech, the freedom of press, the freedom to worship God as I choose. It imparts the knowledge that as long as I do nothing to harm other people and their property or interfere with their rights, my actions are limited only by my conscience. It means there will be no bureaucrat standing over me dictating every phase of my life. It means that whether I succeed or fail, whether I end up as President or a drunk in the gutter, will depend entirely on myself. It means that whatever course my country follows will depend on me and the millions of other Americans.
But in order to enjoy these rights, there are duties and responsibilities I owe my country. I must respect the flag of my country, and to do that I must live an upright and decent life worthy of that flag. I must obey the laws created by those who represent me; this means every law from traffic regulation to filing income tax reports. It is my duty as an American to use my precious privilege of the franchise on every occasion. I must respect the President of my country, no matter how much I may differ with him politically. I must love my country, which doesn't mean merely singing "God Bless America" louder than the man next to me, but something far deeper. It means a love that springs from the knowledge of the terrible sacrifices that have made this country possible, from the bloody footsteps on the snow of Valley Forge to the screams of agony of those who died in World War I. But most important if all, I must remember that whenever I must choose between my own selfish interests and those for the common good, the latter must come first.
"In conclusion, I offer this prayer to Him who controls the destinies of nations: 'Dear Lord, in the trying days that lie ahead, watch over my country and keep it safe. Keep the Stars and Stripes still waving high and allow not its honor to be tarnished. Grant that in the hearts of the rising generation and the generations yet to come, the love of liberty shall never die but grow only stronger.'"
He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Frazier, of Wheeling, W. Va., and a grandson of the late Robert Conover, who lived near Columbia. He graduated from Wheeling High School in May.
Transcribed from the February 7, 1945 edition of the Adair County News, page one.
Word was received Monday that Lt. Robert Conover Frazier has been missing in action over Japan since January 27.
Lt. Frazier, a flight navigator on a B29 Superfortress, has been stationed on Saipan since the autumn of 1944.
Lt. Frazier is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Frazier, Wheeling, W. Va., and a grandson of the late Robert Conover, of Columbia. He is a nephew of Mrs. W.L. Willis, Mrs. J.W. Browning, Misses Agnes and Annie Conover, all of Columbia, and Misses Stella, Mattie and Jimmie Conover, Wheeling, W. Va. He has two sisters, Frances and Harriet Cornelia, of Wheeling, and one brother, Capt. T.A. Frazier, of the Air Transport Command, stationed at Great Falls, Montana.