Neal T. Cobb
Neal T. Cobb
Neal T. Cobb passed away on July 7, 2010 at Community Hospital North. The middle son of C. Howard and Ruth (Tilton) Cobb, Neal was born in Whiting, Indiana on June 6, 1924. His parents, his younger brother, Jack, and his first wife, Marilynn Ferguson Cobb, preceded him in death. Survivors include his older brother, Roy; his daughters, Julie Cobb and Kimberley Klinger; two nephews, Neil and Andy Cobb; his wife Patricia L. Cobb; step-sons, Fred (Elizabeth), Jim (Sue), and Brian (Jody) Alexander and four step-grandchildren. The day following his eighteenth birthday, Neal enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was trained as a cadet. He became a bombardiergunner on a B24 in the 15th Air Force. The plane was badly damaged on his 20th mission, a raid over Blechhamer, Germany, and Neal parachuted to safety just before it crashed near Trencin, Slovakia. Captured by the Slovaks, he was imprisoned in a camp near Bratislava. Neal escaped with two others on August 29, 1944. It was about this time that Slovakian partisans staged an uprising against German occupation. The trio reached friendly forces after walking some 350 miles over a 30 day period. Neal flew home and was honorably discharged in October, 1944. He was awarded several medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross and a Purple Heart. In 1998, Neal and four other veterans, whose paths crossed during that walk to freedom, returned to be recognized by the Slovakian Air Force. They were awarded Slovakia’s Freedom Medal and a set of wings in ceremonies held in Banska Bystricia’s Museum of the Revolution. Neal’s picture and several others of Americans who were involved in Slovakia’s war efforts are on display in the Museum. In his youth, Neal earned the rank of Eagle Scout. After his Air Corps career, he graduated from Indiana University, majoring in business. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. After college Neal worked as the regional manager of several Standard Oil of Indiana stations. He owned and operated the Fairway Auto Supply Parts store. Neal became a sales representative for and eventually retired from the Eagle-Picher Corp. in Michigan and Precision Industries in Wisconsin. Neal was a 30+ year member of Hillcrest Country Club and loved the game of golf. He later belonged to Harbor Trees Golf Club as well as the Service Club of Indianapolis (serving terms as social chairman, secretary and president), The American Legion and the Air Force Escape and Evade Society. Family and friends will gather on Saturday, July 10, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. with funeral service starting at 3:00 p.m. at the Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel. Neal’s ashes will be inurned beside Marilynn in Crown Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Marquette Manor Foundation, co Mike McGinley, Director, 8140 Township Line Road, Indianapolis, IN 46260; to the Service Club, co Jim Crabb, 12365 St. Armands Circle, Carmel, IN 46033; or to Community Home Health Services-Hospice Division, 9894 E. 121st Street, Fishers, IN 46037. Please visit www.lepertmortuary.com where you may sign the guest book, or leave a message for the family.
Published in The Indianapolis Star on Jul. 9, 2010.