Baird, Robert Abner, Maj

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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1966-1966, 1321P, 551st Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing
Service Years
1942 - 1966
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt D.L. Kimbrow (Skip) to remember Baird, Robert Abner, Maj.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Otis AFB, Massachusetts

Date of Passing
Nov 11, 1966
Location of Interment
Orem City Cemetery - Orem, Utah
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Line of Duty

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
In the Line of Duty
  1966, In the Line of Duty

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
PROFILE INCOMPLETE: Details of service in WWII, Korea and subsequent needed.

Major Robert Baird entered the Army Air Corps on 16 May 1942.  He had attended both Utah State and Brigham Young  prior to his enlistment. During WWII, he served as a transport plane pilot over "The Hump" in the China-Burma-Inda Theater, serving overseas from 23 August 1945 until 25 January 1946. He left the service 3 April 1946. 

He  returned to active duty during the Korea War, remaing active until his death in 1966..

In 1966, He was the aircraft commander on EC-121H "Constellation" (#55-5262) based at Otis Air Force Base, Massachusetts, flying radar operations between Labrador and Bermuda.  At that time, he was serving with the 961st Airborne Early Warning and Control Squadron, 551st Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing.

On 11 November 1966, he and 18 crew were killed in the crash of the aircraft 125 miles off Nantucket, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The aircraft was lost 40 minutes after takeoff, possibly due to engine problems. It crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, as it was seen by fishing craft, ditching and then exploding leaving "only a widening oil slick and a few bits of floating debris marked the spot of the crash. Recovered were pieces of aircraft skin and insulation, a seat with a cushion, and three empty life preservers. Air Force officials identified them as from the missing plane."

Those lost:

961st Airborne Early Warning and Control Squadron:
Major Robert A. Baird (Aircraft Commander)
1st Lt. Richard E. Hoppe
1st Lt. Larry D. Rucker
1st Lt. Edward W. Taylor
MSgt. Armand H. DiBonadventura
MSgt. Clarence D. Hendrickson
MSgt. John J. Nerolich
MSgt. Robert A. Thibodeau
TSgt. Arthur J. Lambert
SSgt. Lawrence E. McNeill
SSgt. James R. Pater
SSgt. Robert J. Simmons
A2C Robert P. Kay
A2C Larry L. Stoner

551st Electronic Maintenance Squadron:
SSgt. Robert Sparks
A1C Joseph F. Adamick, Jr.
A1C James D. Rogers
A1C David N. Bailey
A2C James D. Wilbur

Major Baird left a wife and eight children at his passing, five still at home in Massachusetts at that time.
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Aviator (Command)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
961st Airborne Early Warning and Control Squadron551st Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing
  1966-1966, 1321P, 961st Airborne Early Warning and Control Squadron
  1966-1966, 1321P, 551st Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1945-1945 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Defensive (1950)
 Colleges Attended 
Utah State University
  1939-1942, Utah State University
 My Aircraft/Missiles
O-52 Owl  AT-11 Kansan  C-47 Skytrain/Dakota  C-54 Skymaster  
EC-121H Warning Star  
  1943-1943, O-52 Owl
  1943-1943, AT-11 Kansan
  1945-1945, C-47 Skytrain/Dakota
  1945-1946, C-54 Skymaster
  1966-1966, EC-121H Warning Star
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