From Chicago Family History

I have a cousin, Robert R. Brouk, who served in the American Volunteer Group, The Flying Tigers, in China in 1941-1942. In the summer of 1942 he returned home from his service in China, to Cicero, IL. He had a whirlwind romance with Virginia Schaerer and the two were married in November 1942. A month later, Robert was killed in a training accident in Florida while serving in the Air Force.

When I began my research I had no idea what happened to his widow so could not obtain much personal information on him. The other members of that branch of the family had passed or were unable to be found. I got in touch with the AVG group online and by a stroke of luck, was able to obtain his Distinguished Flying Cross Medal. These were awarded Posthumously to many members of the AVG.  His citation and medal are displayed proudly in my home to honor his service.

Years later his widow did contact me, thanks to her son who somehow stumbled across a post I made about Robert. Thanks to her kindness, I was able to hear the story of their romance and short marriage, her life after his death, and receive photographs of him and the two of them along with a typed copy of his diary, written during his service in China. It is my goal to write a book about Robert so he is forever remembered.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 1, 2010 at Thursday, April 01, 2010 and is filed under , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


I met Virginia's sister Ruth in northern Wisconsin in 1942 at my Uncle's summer resort. I was then introduced to Virginia and her parents and we all spent some amount of time together for the rest of the vacation. I would have liked to date Ruth but she was more interested in her violin. Virginia was the Hello Charlie girl for that year at the Western Electric, which, at its peak, employed over 20,000 people. I still think she was the most beautiful woman I ever knew personally. I remember seeing pictures of her and Bob Brouk in the "Welcome Home" parade which I didn't attend, although I too lived in Cicero. Our family was invited to attend the wedding which was certainly memorable, the War Hero marrying the Beauty Queen. The stuff of which Hollywood movies are made. The rest of the story, of which I have only hearsay knowledge, was quite sad and I had no further contact with the family

February 10, 2012 at 3:49 PM

I might add that I have a picture of Virginia in her WAAC's uniform which I would be happy to post.

February 10, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Pardon the blooper. Hello Charley

February 10, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Thanks for your comment. I have a photo of Virginia in her WAC uniform. It is in the book I wrote about Robert Brouk - his war diary and life and their story. I'm hoping to go visit her in April. Feel free to check out Bob's book on my website:

February 10, 2012 at 5:01 PM

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