Robert Irvin Bromschwig

1924 ~ 2023

Obit Photo Robert Bromschwig Star and Tribune

    Captain Robert I. (Bob) Bromschwig, age 98, of Eden Prairie, MN passed away March 06, 2023 at NC Little Hospice House in Edina, Minnesota.

   Born on May 24, 1924, in St. Louis, Missouri, Bob grew up in Springfield, IL. As a teenager Bob was always interested in aircraft, he enjoyed building gas engine powered model airplanes. Bob graduated from Springfield High School and thereafter attended junior college for a year before enlisting in the US Army Air Corps in 1942 as an Aviation Cadet.

Obit Photo Robert Bromschwig young pilot

   In 1944, after earning his Air Corps wings, Bob was trained as a fighter pilot and deployed to Wattisham, England and assigned to the 434th Fighter Squadron, under the 479th Fighter Group of the Eighth Army Air Force. This Air Group flew both the P-38 and P-51 fighters, Bob was qualified in both. The day before and on D-Day, the 479th flew escort and fighter sweeps of the Normandy landing areas.

Obit Photo Robert Bromschwig P 51

   Bob had the unique experience of shooting down a German ME-262 jet fighter using a propellor powered P-51. WWII ended and Bob was eventually mustered out of the Army in 1946. In civilian life during the years 1946 to 1949, Bob attended college which teaching flying at the Springfield (IL) Municipal Airport (now gone).

     At Springfield Bob courted his wife to be Margaret Copp on the ground and in the air, sometimes traveling by small airplane for dates. Bob and Margaret were married in 1949. The year 1949 was a big one for Bob; he married Marge and also went to work for Northwest Airlines (date of hire July 5, 1949).

   Bob was initially trained as a co-pilot on the Douglas DC-3, DC-4, followed by the Martin-202, and eventually the Boeing-377 (Stratocruiser). He worked trip patterns in which he might fly all 4 aircraft types in one day. In 1959 Bob completed his initial captain upgrade in the DC-4, he thereafter flew as captain on the DC-6, DC-7, Lockheed-188 (Electra), Boeing-727, B-707, B-720, DC-10, and finally the B-747 classic. Along the way he and Margaret had 4 children.

Obit Photo Robert Bromschwig June 1982

    Bob offered flying lessons to his all his children, and was very proud of his son and grandson, who are airline pilots today, as well as his granddaughters who also have learned to fly. He also taught his kids major life lessons; how to ride a bike, do math in in your head, budget a monthly allowance, drive and change oil in a car, and how to use a toolbox. Bob possessed the pilot gene for time exactness and taught his children how to be on time. He set their offspring up to be independent, confident people, who would become successful in life. He was a great Dad; his family knew he was there when you needed him.

   Bob’s family describes him as a very fun guy who loved music, played accordion with great vigor, and listened to pipe organ music so loud it shook the house. He played killer tennis, was a fabulous bartender and loved to laugh with family and friends. He expertly maintained the family fleet of bicycles, cars, boats, and airplanes. He could fix the house and everything in it. He was so very happy with his wife, his children, his life. He was the Captain of our ship and he will be deeply missed.  

   After retirement in 1989, Bob and Marge moved to Naples Florida where they enjoyed golf, tennis, boating, and socializing with his children and grandchildren They retained their Minnesota roots by maintaining a lake cabin near Brainerd, Minnesota.

   Bob also maintained his interest in a wide variety of aircraft and completely restored a 1941 Beech Staggerwing that he co-owned with a fellow NWA Captain. He remained an avid aviator even when no longer current as a pilot by attending many annual Oshkosh Airshows, flying with his Son and Grandson, also pilots.

   As health declined, Bob moved into a senior center with his wife Marge, who he lost in 2015, and finally flew west himself on his own March 06, 2023.

   Predeceased by his wife of 66 years Marge, and an infant daughter Monika, Bob is survived by his children Marlena Bromschwig, Marta Galnick, Kurt Bromschwig and grandchildren Eric, Michelle and Monika Bromschwig.

Clear skies and tailwinds ahead Bob!

(- Bromschwig family and Bill Day )