Stories of Honor: WWII veteran Bob Langenbach served with MacArthur in Tokyo

CURT SYNNESS For the Independent Record

Army veteran Robert Langenbach, Ph.D., served in the Philippines during World War II and in post-war Japan under Brig. Gen. Guy Denit. Denit was the chief surgeon for the Pacific Theater of Operations, in Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters.

Langenbach’s parents were early-day Helenans Charles and Helen (Barrett) Langenbach. Charles (1889-1964), who was born in Germany, immigrated to Helena with his family as a young boy.

Helen (1894-1976) was born in Helena to Rueben and Elizabeth Barrett.

Charles was active in the grocery business, managing the Capital Commission Company, a wholesale grocery firm, and owning Fifth Avenue Grocery.

The Langebachs were the parents of two sons, Harold and Robert. Bob was born nearly a century ago, in 1924. As an infant he suffered a debilitating case of rheumatic fever, which resulted in a frail physique curtailing his athletic aspirations despite his love of sports.

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“I only weighed about a 100 pounds in high school,” Langenbach, 98, related. “But it didn’t deter me from sledding in the winter. We’d go from the top of Hoback down to Sixth Avenue.”

Nor did it stop him from working in

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