Robert “Bob” James Beck was born in Memphis, Tennessee on May 5, 1925, to Virgil S. and Grace (Lee) Beck.He graduated from Amarillo High School in Texas, then went on to attend North Texas Agricultural College in Arlington, Texas, as a cadet in the ROTC program from 1942 – 1943. He enlisted in the United States Army on June 10, 1943 in Dallas, Texas. He attended the course for X-Ray technicians at the Army School of Roentgenology (now referred to almost exclusively as Radiology) at Memphis, Tennessee for 8 weeks in 1943.
Robert served with the 51st Field Hospital in the European theater of operations from March 1944 to November 1945.
D-Day, June 6, 1944, Robert landed on the beach of Normandy with the 51st Field Hospital. He was 19 years old. He told stories of not being able to straighten his fingers after carrying litters to the 51st hospital. The memory of coming across a Nazi War Camp, with all the dead and starving Jewish people, was forever with him.
Robert was Honorably Discharged Dec. 16, 1945, at Ft. Bliss, TX. He was awarded the European African Middle Eastern Service Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Meritorious Unit Award and the Victory Medal.
Robert served with the Air National Guard in New Mexico. He worked as an X-Ray technician for the VA Hospital in Albuquerque, NM, then moved to Austin, TX, where he was one of the original team to open the Veterans Administration Data Processing Center in Austin, TX, in 1965. Robert retired from the VA with 35 years and went on to work 10 years for the State Comptroller’s Office under Bob Bullock. Bob was a member of VFW Post 10427, Leander, TX.
Robert passed away Jan. 14, 2009, at the age of 83, in Georgetown, TX, after living a retirement life of gardening, wood-working, fishing and enjoying his family.