September 29, 1912 (Norwalk, CT) – April 1, 1944; 31 years old
Married to Violet Bartram (1914-1996) on January 24, 1941, in Norwalk
Last local address: 8 Lafayette Circle, Norwalk
Enlisted April 3, 1943
Service number: 31331554
Unit: 45th Infantry Division, 45th Reconnaissance Troop
Born to John (1869-1948) and Grace S. Godfrey Merritt (1877-1935). Robert was their only child.
Bertha Comstock is listed as “Aunt” / next of kin at 8 Warren Street, Norwalk. She is also the mother of 1Lt Alfred Comstock KIA during WWII, and sister of Frank C. Godfrey KIA during WWI.
Awarded the Purple Heart Medal. Hospital record shows “First Location: Thorax, generally; Causative Agent: Artillery Shell, Other or Unspecified to Blast, Fragments, Debris.”
From armydivs.com: The 45th landed at Anzio, on 22 January 1944, and for 4 months stood its ground against violent assaults.
From The Norwalk Hour May 2, 1944
Word that her husband, PFC Robert Curtis Merritt, 23, was killed in Italy on April 1, was received last night by Mrs. Ella Merritt of the Ferris Apartments, Commerce Street, from the War Department. The telegram said a letter would follow. PFC Merritt was with a reconnaissance group of the 45th Division at Anzio Beachhead. He was the son of John Merritt of 8 Lafayette Circle. PFC Merritt entered the service in April 1943. He took his basic army training at Camp Robinson, Arkansas in August, after a brief furlough at home, he was shipped to North Africa and then to Italy. Only recently he had written home describing his dugout on which he said was a sign “Dugout – Dug Well In.” PFC Merritt was a nephew of the late Lieutenant Frank C. Godfrey, killed in World War I, and after whom the Frank C. Godfrey Post, American Legion, was named. He was also a nephew of Fred Godfrey of 4 Sherry Street and of Mrs. William I. Comstock of 8 Warren Street. PFC Merritt was a graduate of Franklin Junior High School and Norwalk High School. Several years ago, he was keenly interested in theatricals and was regarded as one of the best of amateur performers in Norwalk. He took leads in many amateur shows staged in the city and also broadcast many times over the radio. Before entering the Army, he was employed by the Automatic Signal Company. Mrs. Merritt is the former Miss Ella Bartram of Bridgeport.
Buried Sicily-Rome American Cemetery Nettuno, Piazzale Kennedy, 1, 00048 Nettuno RM Italy; Plot J, Row 3, Grave 67. Photo provided by Melanie Resto, Superintendent, Sicily-Rome American Cemetery.