Lieutenant Robert Norris Lackhove was born in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, on March 7, 1917, the son of Louis B. Lackhove and Mary E. Lane. He had one sister, Wilda, and lived in Altoona, Pennsylvania. In the early 1940s, he worked for a factory in York, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces as a cadet on December 25, 1942, and from December 1942 to March 1944, he trained at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center, Texas; Bruce Field, Texas; San Angelo, Texas; and Laredo, Texas. He was stationed briefly in Georgia before his deployment overseas in July 1944. Lackhove served as a bombardier with the 837th Heavy Bombardment Squadron, 487th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, and participated in around 35 combat missions in continental Europe while based at Lavenham, England. He returned to the United States around early 1945, and served in Midland and Childress, Texas, before his discharge on October 3, 1945.
Throughout the war, Lackhove corresponded with his girlfriend, Myrle Elizabeth Hoffman of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of John H. Hoffman and Catherine Rudloff, and worked for the Pennsylvania Mutual Inspection Bureau during the war. She married Robert Lackhove in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, on May 25, 1945, during one of Lackhove's leaves, and they lived in Camp Hill after the war. Robert N. Lackhove died on April 10, 1985, and Myrle Hoffman Lackhove died in November 2003.