Baird, Robert Abner, Maj

 Service Photo   Service Details
37 kb
View Time Line
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.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
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.
Other Comments:
 Photo Album   (More...

 1943-1943, AT-11 Kansan
From Year
To Year
Personal Memories
Not Specified
 AT-11 Kansan Details

Aircraft/Missile Information
The Model 18 Twin Beech twin-engine aircraft were designed by Beech as a response to global tension in the late 1930s. After the prototype took flight in 1937, China issued a order amounting to $750,000 to convert these aircraft into light bombers, but only 39 were delivered by the time China entered WW2 in Jul 1937. As the United States geared for war, the Model 18 design were built as US Army AT-7 Navigator, AT-11 Kansan, and C-45 Expeditor aircraft and US Navy SNB Kansan, JRB Kansan, and UC-45 Expeditor Navigator aircraft. They were used as transports or trainers. After the war, the US Air Force kept C-45 aircraft in use until 1963, Navy SNB aircraft until 1972, and US Army C-45 aircraft until 1976. The production of the Model 18 aircraft did not stop until 1970, with the last model exported to Japan Airlines, making the design the longest continuous production of a piston engine aircraft; a total of nearly 8,000 were built during the production life. In addition to the production record, Model 18 also held the most US Federal Aviation Administration-approved Supplemental Type Certificates of any aircraft design (over 200), making it the most modified American aircraft. In the civilian world, they were used for a wide variety of functions, including pesticide spraying, fish seeding, firefighting, ambulance service, and cargo and passenger transportation.

Add your memories to this entry

Last Updated: Nov 11, 2014
My Photos From This Aircraft/Missile
No Available Photos

  10 Also There at This Aircraft:
  • Farnham, Jack, 1st Lt, (1942-1945)
  • Watson, Florene, Lt Col, (1942-1945)
Copyright Inc 2003-2011