Cover photo for Robert  William Volle's Obituary
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Robert William Volle

November 21, 1923 — May 17, 2011

Robert William "Bill" Volle, age 87, of La Grande and formerly of Elgin died Tuesday morning at a local care facility. A graveside service will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. at the Summerville Cemetery.

Bill was born November 21,1923, the son of John R. and Barbara (Goeble) Volle in Heppner, Oregon. At age 10 the family moved to an irrigated farm near Irrigon, Oregon. He attended and graduated from High School there. He helped his father operate the farm where they raised hay, watermelons, cattle and 1200 head of ewes. Following graduation he worked 18 months at the Ordinance Depot in Hermiston.

On November 1943 he was drafted and sent to the reception Center at Fort Douglas, Utah and then to 17 weeks of Heavy Weapons Training at Camp Roberts, California. After a short leave he traveled to Sacramento and was taken by Riverboat to board the ship The America at San Francisco whose destination was Australia.

Bill was a member of the 158th Crack Regimental Combat Team Co. "H" known as the Bushmasters which was originally an Arizona National Guard outfit. The team got its knick name and Symbol in Panama in 1942 after an extremely dangerous and poisonous 7 foot long snake which was looked upon as the Master of the Bush. Hence the Symbol of the snake coiled around a Machete'. There was a saying, "The road to victory is up the steep sides of mountains", which they experienced.

Bill's awards included the Combat Infantryman's Badge for exemplary conduct in action against the enemy in Arawe, New Britain, The Expert Infantryman Badge for performance of duty in action against the enemy on Noemfoor Island, The Bronze Star Medal for exemplary conduct in ground combat against the armed enemy, The Philippine Liberation Medal with one Bronze Service Star, The Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Bronze Service Arrowhead and The Good Conduct Victory Medal.

He served as a Squad Leader of a 6 man team on a Heavy Machine Gun Unit. Letters from home were always appreciated and he would write to his parent from a fox hole..

He was Honorably discharged on February 13, 1946 at the Separation Center at Fort Lewis, Washington, at which time he joined the Army Reserve Corps as a Staff Sergeant. January 5, 1949 he was inducted in the 6010 ASU 6th Army Escort Detail, The Oakland Army Base Infantry Reserve Corps, as a Military Escort for deceased military. He served from February 17, 1949 to January 18, 1950.

Following his military service he returned to the family farm and worked with his father until he passed, but continued farming until the farm was sold. At that time Bill purchased two log trucks and logged for many years. On June 21, 1997 he married Helen Henderson in Elgin. They lived in Elgin until recent years.

Bill was a member of the American Legion. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, taking tours and loved to dance.

Survivors include his wife, Helen of LaGrande; children and their spouses, Robert and Janice Volle of Elgin, Catherine and Eldon Powers of Astoria, John R. and Gaylene Volle of Imbler and Barbara Normandy of La Grande; step-children, Oran and Dee Petersen of Renten, WA, Vicky and Dave Hallmark and Bruce and Sue Petersen of La Grande; sister, Juanita Brown of Irrigon; numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren and other relatives and friends. Bill was preceded in death by his mother and father.

Those who wish may make contributions in his memory to the charity of one's choice in care of Daniels~Knopp. 1502 7th Street in La Grande.


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