Robert Edward “Bob” Lanigan was from Rome, NY, and entered West Point by way of the Ft. Dix prep school. At West Point, he was director of the Catholic choir, Glee Club, and 100th Nite Show.
Upon graduating as a second lieutenant of Artillery, he married Rena Hayman, a post hospital nurse from Boston, MA. In April 1943, he was promoted to major and became S-3 of the 500th Armored Field Artillery Battalion. He remained with this unit until the end of WWII and had a major role in making it the top artillery battalion in the 14th Armored Division. Following V-E Day, he spent two years with G-1 division, U.S. Forces, European Theater, with Rene, Linda, and Bob joining him for the last year.
Stateside duty with the Second Army Headquarters, an advanced course at Ft. Sill and parachute training at Ft. Campbell saw two more little ones joining the family, Kevin and Dennis, in time to enjoy Bob’s tour as S-3 of 11th Airborne Division Artillery. The Command & General Staff College regular course was a pleasant tour and Bob stayed on as an instructor with the airborne section of CGSC for two more years.
In the Korean conflict, he served as S-3, X Corps Artillery and later as commander, 196th Field Artillery Battalion, in X Corps in Korea. Bob received the first Oak Leaf cluster to his Bronze Star Medal. After a great year at the Army War College, the family spent three years at the British School of Artillery in Larkhill, England, where Bob was liaison officer and on departure was made an honorary member of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. In Washington he spent the next five years with Army Legislative Liaison, the last three as chief of the House Branch.
A lifelong dream came true when he took command of the Division Artillery, 3rd Infantry Division in Germany. During the next three years he brought his command to a high state of readiness. A two-year tour as deputy chief of staff for operations at Landsoutheast in Izmir, Turkey completed his overseas tour. He spent a year as program chief with the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency before retiring in 1 Jul 1970. He spent his retirement years with Rene and family in their “Irish Rover,” cruising the Chesapeake Bay.
We as a family look over the long and varied service posts and on the many close friendships we enjoyed in the Army. We remember Bob with the golden voice and a blue ribbon disposition with a great sense of humor—a wonderful husband and father. Bob was a great representative of the greatest generation, a patriot and lover of his country. He is loved and missed by all.
—Rena H. Lanigan and children: Robert Lanigan, Jr., Dennis Lanigan, Kevin Lanigan, Linda Gregory, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren
- Class of 1941