Bob has been in love with flying and airplanes since he was twelve years old. At the age of 16, he started to take flying lessons at a local Westfield, Mass. airfield. He paid for these lessons by washing airplanes, cleaning hangars, and some help from his father. He received his private pilot’s license at 17 yars old. In no time, Bob was soloing and taking people on excursions.
Born and raised in Westfield, Mass, he graduated from Springfield High School. He joined the United States Army in 1962 and was sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey for his basic training. After completing basic training, he attained the rank of PFC and was transferred to Fort Bliss, Texas, where he was a maintenance trainee on Hawk guided missiles. During his tenure at Fort Bliss, he applied to the US Aarmy Flight School at Fort Rucker, Alabama, where he attained the rank of Sergeant. After completing his training, Bob was promoted to Warrant Officer status. His training in fixed wing aircraft lasted for forty-two weeks. Upon graduation, Bob was promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer-1.
In 1964, bob was transferred to active duty in Vietnam. During combat, he flew an unarmed “Bird Dog” aircraft where his mission was to mark targets for artillery, helicopter gunships, and Air Force jets. His service in Vietnam lasted until 1965. Due to his action in combat, her received the following medals: The Air Medal with 17 Clusters, the National Defense Medal, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
Following his discharge from the Army, he returned to Wesfield and began a career as a pilot for private airlines. He flew small engine and charter aircraft, eventually becoming a co-pilot on private jet aircraft. After a certain number of flying hours, Bob became a Captain of the aircraft. He retired with the rank of Chief Pilot. His career as a pilot lasted 47 years. Bob flew a total of 27,544 hours. Some of his passengers included famous and notable individuals such as Jerry Seinfeld, Tiger Woods, Shirley MacLaine, Janet Jackson, the Reverend Billy Graham, Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator George McGovern, Newt Gingrich, and Lady Margaret Thatcher!
Bob is now a happy resident of the Tanglewood Community.