Robert L. Toda (1944/11/12)
"Lieut. Bob Toda Killed on Leyte in Infantry Fight" declared the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Robert Lewis Toda, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Toda of Farmington, California, was born in San Joaquin County, California, on September 16, 1915. He was raised and educated in the Sacramento Valley where he completed four years of high school. After finishing his formal education, Robert Toda was employed as a commercial vehicle driver.
On March 12, 1941, Toda was inducted into the US Army as a private at Sacramento, California. While undergoing basic training, he was selected for Officer Candidate School and was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia. After graduating from OCS, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and married Arlene. While he was in Georgia, his wife established the family residence in Santa Cruz.
Lt. Toda was assigned to the 381st Infantry Regiment of the 96th Infantry Division that assisted in the invasion of the Philippine Islands.
“On October 20, 1944, the Division landed on Leyte above Dulag. By October 30, it had cleared a series of fortified Japanese positions along the Labir-Catmon-San Vicente Hill axis and secured the northern portion of the Corps zone to the Tanauan-Dagami Road. The 96th then made a holding attack to the west from Dagami to permit the 7th Division to cross to the island's East Coast and drive north along Ormoc Bay. This resulted in a series of battalion-sized actions on the Dagami Heights that began on November 3. The 382nd Infantry Regiment assaulted "Bloody Ridge" near Hitomnog, repelled a Japanese attack, and secured "Suicide Ridge" to the north before being relieved by the 381st Infantry on November 20.”
First Lieutenant Robert L. Toda was killed in action during the fighting on Luzon on November 12, 1944. His body was recovered and buried in the Manila American Cemetery in Manila. His awards include the Purple Heart.
(CBR; ABMC, NARA2; SCSn January 10, 1945, 96th Infantry Division, Internet History, http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Barracks/4096/history.html, [16 September 2008])