Robert Burnside Leishman was born February 22, 1925 in Ethel, Logan County, West Virginia to Andrew Richman Leishman and Marian Burnside Leishman. At the time of his birth, Robert's father, Andrew, was a mine superintendent in Ethel. Robert would go on to be joined by three siblings: a brother, Andy, and two sisters, Naida and Jane. By the time Robert was inducted into the armed forces the family had settled in St. Albans, Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Robert was inducted into the United States Army at Huntington, West Virginia on May 3, 1943. He was sent overseas to serve in the European Theater on December 29, 1943. Robert held the rank of Technician Fifth Grade, and he served with the 462nd Amphibious Truck Company.
Although news reports from the time falsely claimed that he was killed over Italy, Robert was killed in action in the English Channel on April 28, 1944 while participating in Exercise Tiger. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and his body was buried at sea. In recognition of his honorable service in World War II, and for his ultimate sacrifice, Robert Burnside Leishman's name is inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Cambridge American Cemetery in Cambridge, England, and Robert's was one of the original names inscribed on the West Virginia Veteran's Memorial.
West Virginians in Exercise Tiger
Remembering Exercise Tiger
West Virginia Veterans Memorial Archives Database
West Virginia Archives and History