Robert Sommerville, Jr. or “Bud” as many family members called him, passed away the morning of March 2, 2013. Robert was born in Pasadena, California, on November 25, 1917, the oldest son of Robert and Harriet Sommerville. Always ready with a story or a joke, Bob grew up in Pasadena attending Longfellow Elementary, Wilson Junior High, Pasadena High School and Pasadena Junior College, where he played football. Bob went on to work in the circulation department and later the advertising departments of the Pasadena Star News in 1937, and when war broke out he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Air Corps in March of 1942.
Bob’s Navy service included active duty at the Naval Air Station in Long Beach and cadet flight school in Corpus Christi, Texas. After graduation and commissioning he served as a flight instructor in Corpus Christi until he received orders for operational training and was assigned as Senior Aviator aboard the USS Providence, CL 82, the flagship of the Mediterranean command. In that theatre he saw time in Palermo, Sicily; Naples, Italy; Athens, Greece; and Marseille, France. Bob stayed in the Naval Reserve for ten years after his discharge in April of 1946.