Skip to main content

Robert A Boyajian

SGT in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co C


Born 1922 in NY, Died 2012


Other residence(s): New York, NY; Akron, OH; Strafford, VT; Lebanon, NH
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
College education before the war: Pratt
Notes: ASN assigned to Elias Solomon in WWII Army enlistment records; rank changed from PVT in GA roster to SGT per New York Area Leave List; promoted to T/5 in Fort Meade clipping
Source: 603rd Camouflage Engineer Roster provided by W. Anderson; 603rd reunion mailing list; Company D With Addresses Roster; Company C roster; Fort Meade clipping from Harold Dahl; photo from Boyajian Collection, GALP Archive

Bob Boyajian was born on January 17, 1922 in Manhattan, the older of two brothers; his parents were both immigrants from Armenia. He attended Pratt Institute in New York City, where he became good friends with fellow illustration students Ray Harford, Vic Dowd, and Ken Bald; they referred to themselves as the Four Musketeers. They socialized together, and two of them ended up marrying women they dated while at Pratt. Ray married Edith Taylor in 1942, and Bob was best man at the wedding.

The Four Musketeers graduated from Pratt with certificates in illustration in June, 1941, and went to work, along with several other classmates, at Jack Binder's studio. Jack had 50 artists working for him, drawing comics for Fawcett Comics, Nedor Comics, and Lev Gleason Publications. He'd started in a Fifth Avenue loft in Manhattan, but eventually moved his crew to the loft of a barn in Englewood, NJ which became known as "Binder Barn."

When Bob filled out his draft registration in June, 1942, he said that he was working for Fawcett Publications. When he enlisted, he became a member of the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion, along with two of the other three Musketeers—Harford and Dowd. (Bald joined the Marines.)

He was discharged from the Army in 1945 with the rank of SGT. In 1946, he took a job in the art department at Firestone in Akron, OH. Later that year he became engaged to Martha Crocker, a Smith College graduate and a painter, then studying at the Art Students League in New York. They married in January, 1947.

The Boyajians would go on to have three daughters: Gail, Ann, and Laura. Bob remained at Firestone until 1965, when he took a job as the Art Director at Hugh McNeill Inc., an Akron advertising firm.

During his years in Akron, Bob continued to practice photography and illustration outside of his advertising career. He drew the map for an illustrated self-guided tour of the Cuyahoga River Valley, designed and photographed a brochure for the Akron Public Library, and illustrated several books. He also wrote numerous letters to the editor of the Akron Beacon Journal, sympathizing with the plight of the Armenians, standing up against racism, and supporting other Democratic causes.

Martha continued to paint; in 1964 they held a joint exhibit of their work in Akron—his photographs and her paintings. Bob was also an avid tennis player and fencer.

In retirement they lived in Strafford, VT and Lebanon, NH. Martha died in 2008. Bob died on February 6, 2012 in Waltham, MA.

All three of their daughters became working artists, widely exhibited and collected.


1940 census

1940 draft card

1946 engagement announcement

1947 marriage announcement,0.85574067,0.44824833,0.98205703&xid=3398&_ga=2.268432077.2136481682.1612959879-1645438091.1612634007

1961 letter to the editor in the Akron Beacon Journal (OH)

1964 article in the Akron Beacon Journal (OH) re a joint exhibit of his photos and his wife's paintings

1965 article in the Akron Beacon Journal (OH) re a job change

1969 article in the Akron Beacon Journal (OH) re a brochure he designed for Akron Public Library

1970 article in the Akron Beacon Journal (OH) about his children's art skills

1971 article in the Burlington Free Press (VT) about a book he illustrated

1975 article in the Akron Beacon Journal (OH) about a travel brochure he drew a map for

1983-1993 US public records

2012 death record

2012 obituary

Please Support Our Ongoing Efforts

The soldiers of The Ghost Army used inflatable tanks, sound effects, and imagination to fool the Germans on the battlefields of Europe. The Ghost Army Legacy Project is ensuring that these men and their accomplishments are never forgotten.

Give via credit card by clicking the yellow “Donate” button.

Or, send a check to:

Ghost Army Legacy Project
1305 S. Michigan Ave. #1104
Chicago, IL 60605

All donations are tax-deductible!