Baird, Robert Abner, Maj

 Service Photo   Service Details
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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 

48 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt 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 Association Memberships
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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 1966-1966, EC-121H Warning Star
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 EC-121H Warning Star Details

Aircraft/Missile Information
Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star was a US Air Force/US Navy airborne early warning radar surveillance aircraft. A military version of the Lockheed Constellation, it was designed to serve as an airborne early warning system to supplement the Distant Early Warning Line, using two large radomes, a vertical dome above and a horizontal one below the fuselage. EC-121's were also used for intelligence gathering (SIGINT).

It was introduced in 1955 and retired from service in 1978, although a single specially-modified EW aircraft remained in service with the U.S. Navy until 1982. The US Navy versions when initially procured were designated WV-2 and WV-3. Warning Stars of the U.S. Air Force served during the Vietnam War as both electronic sensor monitors and as a forerunner to the E-3 Sentry AWACS. U.S. Air Force aircrews adopted the civil nickname, "Connie" (diminutive of Constellation) as reference.

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Last Updated: Nov 10, 2014
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  26 Also There at This Aircraft:
  • Briggs, Pete, MSgt, (1965-1985)
  • Brown, Floyd, Sgt, (1966-1970)
  • Cosgrove, Richard, 1stSgt, (1964-1984)
  • Drennan, Jack, Sgt, (1964-1968)
  • Eliason, Andrew, Sgt, (1963-1969)
  • Guenet, Joseph (Leo), Lt Col, (1955-1985)
  • Hoch, Leon, TSgt, (1965-2006)
  • McKee, Steven, SSgt, (1962-1970)
  • Nadeau, Richard, TSgt, (1954-1979)
  • Odon, Robert, CCM, (1962-2003)
  • Olsen, Bill, Sgt, (1964-1968)
  • Olsen, Gary, CMSgt, (1959-1994)
  • Perkey, Donald, Sgt, (1965-1968)
  • Price, Floyd, A1C, (1958-1966)
  • Reeves, James, CMSgt, (1957-1985)
  • Rondeau, Joe, A1C, (1960-1964)
  • Ryan, Michael, Sgt, (1966-1970)
  • Stachura, Michael, Sgt, (1962-1966)
  • Stemmann, Charles, SSgt, (1966-1970)
  • Thurston, Everett, MSgt, (1952-1973)
  • Tomlinson, Robert, SMSgt, (1965-1991)
  • Westfall, Robert, SMSgt, (1957-1980)
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