Robert Latshaw was born on August 20, 1925, in St. Louis, Missouri. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces on July 7, 1943, and was accepted into the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on May 23, 1944. Latshaw was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings on January 27, 1945, and served at Boca Raton Army Air Field, Florida, before leaving active duty on December 7, 1946. Lt Latshaw returned to active duty in the U.S. Air Force on October 10, 1947, and served as an F-86 Sabre pilot with the 335th Fighter Interceptor Squadron of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing at Kimpo AB, South Korea, from late 1951 to mid 1952. During this time he was credited with the destruction of 5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat, with 4 more damaged in the air. After the war, Major Latshaw was killed in the crash of a T-33 Shooting Star near Boca del Rio Air Base, Venezuela, on April 20, 1956. He was buried at the San Francisco National Cemetery in San Francisco, California.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.