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Robert Spencer Danstedt

SGT in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co B

ASN#31083221 Casualty: Wounded

Born 1915 in MA, Died 2005


County of residence at enlistment: Worcester County, MA
Other residence(s): Worcester, MA; Bridgewater, MA; Maynard, MA; Concord, MA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: general industry clerks
College education before the war: Worcester Art Museum School; Boston Museum School; 4 years total
College education after the war: Clark University, Bridgewater State College
Notes: Purple Heart; GO #34, HQ SP TRS, 12th A Gp, 4 Apr 45. Enemy Action, 13 Mar 45. Pickard, Germany. Also Co D; rank changed from PVT to SGT per gravestone
Source: 603rd Camouflage Engineer Roster provided by W. Anderson; Awards and Decorations; Bernie Mason Company D Roster; photo courtesy Worcester High School of Commerce and Ancestry®

Robert Danstedt was born on February 6, 1915 in Worcester, MA, the younger of two children. Both of his parents had been born in Sweden; his father worked as a machinist in a steel mill.

Robert graduated from Grafton Street Junior High and from Worcester High School of Commerce in 1933. His high school yearbook reported that he had "the makings of a fine artist," and he won a scholarship to study art in college. He attended Worcester Art Museum School for a year, and then won a scholarship to the Boston Museum School, where he studied for at least three years.

Robert registered for the draft on October 16, 1940. The census that year showed him working in the area of planning for an abrasives manufacturer. He enlisted on August 29, 1942, at which time his occupation was listed in the category of "general industry clerk." Like many other artists in the Northeast, Robert was assigned to the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion, and saw service in Europe during the war.

He was discharged on September 22, 1945 with the rank of SGT and returned home to Worcester, marrying Lucille Rice, also an artist, in 1945. Their only child, Karen, was born a year or two later.

Robert used his GI Bill benefits to pursue further study. He attended Clark University in Worcester, while he taught art in the Worcester public schools. The family relocated to Bridgewater, MA in 1948 when he was offered a job as the town's only art teacher. Robert earned a graduate degree from Bridgewater State College (possibly in art education) in 1952. He continued to teach art, serving as the Art Supervisor for the Bridgewater school system, and in 1960 became the Director of Art at the new Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School, a position he held for 20 years until his retirement.

His wife, Lucille, worked as a fashion illustrator and was also an award-winning artist. Their daughter, Karen, would go on to teach art at the Liberty School in Braintree, MA for 34 years.

Robert also served as a Trustee of the Bridgewater Public Library for at least four years during the 1960s.

Lucille died in 1989; sometime after that Robert moved to Maynard, MA, probably to be closer to his daughter who lived in Concord, MA. He died on August 3, 2005 in Concord, and is buried at All Faiths Cemetery in Worcester, MA.


1915 Massachusetts birth record

1920 census

1930 census

1933 high school yearbook

1933 article in the Evening Gazette (Worcester MA) re HS graduation

1935 article in the Evening Gazette (Worcester MA) re his winning scholarship to Boston Museum School

1937 Worcester city directory

1940 census

1940 draft card

1941 Worcester city directory

1942 enlistment record

1949 Worcester city directory

1959 Bridgewater annual town report (see pages 181-183)

1960 Bridgewater annual town report (pages 6 and 18)

1985-1993 US Public Records Index

1989 wife's obituary

2005 US Veterans' gravesites

2005 VA death record

2005 Social Security death index

2005 obituary in the Boston Globe (MA)

2005 obituary (same as Boston Globe)

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