There are many ways that one could down an enemy plane: you can shoot it with a mounted machine gun all while chasing it, or hit it with missiles is also another option. For marine pilot Robert Klingman, his choice was a bit different when they came across a Kawasaki Ki-45. Given the circumstances, he decided to use his plane’s propeller to take down the Japanese airplane.

Bored With Civilian Life

Robert Klingman was born in Binger, Oklahoma, on January 12, 1917. When the Great Depression hit, his family needed relief, as it was difficult for them to survive with all their nine children. With that, they decided to send Robert to the Civilian Military Training program in Forst Sill, Oklahoma, to ease the burden. The program took young men to Army camps for a month and let them experience military life. This helped the parents as they would not have to worry about feeding their sons, at least through the summer. The young men sent to the training program had a chance to experience different army drills and common military weapons and have a taste of barracks life.

After getting a taste of the military life, Klingman decided to try to become a Marine. In 1934, he entered the Marine Corps right after finishing high school. He spent four years in the Marines and became qualified with the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), the best light machine gun in the US.

After returning back home, he decided to open a diner called “Bob’s Cafe.” Through time, he grew bored of civilian life. His brother, seeing a growing irritation, suggested that he return to service and try to enter the Navy, so he did.