14 Names to Remember Project

14 Names to Remember | Robert Niemann

Posted on May 23rd, 2024 By:

14 Names to Remember Project. Layout by Tonya Strickland. Historic graphics attributed.

Gig Harbor Now columnist Tonya Strickland researched and profiled the 14 local men whose names appear on the World War II monument at Kenneth Leo Marvin Memorial Park. Find all 14 profiles here.

Hometown: Vaughn

Branch: U.S. Army

Rank: Private first class

Died: Jan. 6, 1945 | Age 20

Pfc. Robert “Bob” Henery Niemann was born Dec. 31, 1924, in Tacoma to Caroline “Biddy” (Hansen) Niemann and Herman Niemann Sr. of Vaughn.

In the 1940 U.S. Census, Bob Niemann had two brothers: Herman “Hap” and Maxwell Niemann. Hap and Bob, listed together on Gig Harbor’s WWII Memorial, were born just 11 months apart.

Bob Niemann’s obituary says he graduated from Vaughn High School “where he was outstanding in athletics.” In 1939, he and his brother Hap Niemann played on the Vaughn Eagles basketball team with three of their relatives. They made headlines for having five Niemanns on one team. When he registered with the draft in 1942, Bob Niemann was still attending school. His height and weight weren’t documented, but the file indicated he had brown hair, blue eyes and a ruddy complexion.

Niemann served with the U.S. Army Ground Forces’ 169th Infantry Regiment in the Headquarters Company, responsible for testing weapons and other support duties. He was deployed to the South Pacific on Dec. 10, 1943. Almost 13 months later, he was killed in action Jan. 6, 1945, three days before the Battle of Luzon in the Philippines.

Pfc. Niemann’s remains were returned to the U.S. and he’s buried locally at the Niemann Family Cemetery, a small private parcel of 14 graves located across the street from the Vaughn Bay Cemetery on 186th Avenue.

Status: KIA – Killed in Action