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."
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.