The Bronx Chronicle Veteran of the Week

US Army

Robert A. Fire is a native New Yorker, born to Italian immigrants Guy and Mary Fire in Tonawanda, Niagara County. At the age of 16, Mr. Fire joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, under President Roosevelt, working in Old Fort Niagara State Park, before being shipped to the State of Utah to finish out his commitment.

After returning home, he married his wife Mabel and had the first two of his eight children. At the time of war, he was inducted into the United States Army on July 20, 1944. On January 1, 1945, Private First Class Robert Fire was sent to fight in Europe under General George S. Patton Third Army 28th Division, “The Bloody Buckets”, 109th Infantry Company H. He proudly served in the “Battle of the Bulge” as a Heavy Machine Gunner with an Infantry Combat Badge and Sharpshooter Badge- Rifle.

He earned a Bronze Star Medal, volunteering to run across the street with risk of being killed in action to draw fire from an enemy sniper that had them pinned down in a village. He went on to earn the European and Middle East Theatre of Operations Medal with Three Bronze Battle Stars in Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe. He was also awarded the American Campaign Medal, Army Occupation Medal, WW2 Victory Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Medal of Merit New York State, and from the French Government, the Croix de Guerue.

Mr. Fire was discharged October 23, 1945 to his wife, children and job at the Buffalo Steel Plant. Mr. Fire was one of the pioneers in the 50’s to support youth football clinics and coaching a youth football team, the Buffalo Steelers. He later worked and retired from GM Axel Plant in Buffalo and was a member of the Holy Name Society, Stewardship of The Faith Committee at Saint Andrews, and a lifetime member of the American Legion.

His dedication and love for his country, wife and eight children, was unwavering. Robert A Fire was laid to rest on November 10, 2000.

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