LCDR Robert M. “Bob” Elder FJ-1 Fury Pilot of VF-5A (VF-51), NAS San Diego, 1948


2 responses

  1. LCDR Elder

    Bob joined the Navy in June 1940, completed flight training in April 1941, and was commissioned Ensign on 15 May 1941. His first assignment was with Bombing Squadron 3 on board USS Saratoga (CV-3) out of San Diego. His combat experience during WWII began at the outbreak of hostilities on 7 December 1941 and included involvement in every major carrier engagement in the Pacific Theater through September 1943. He flew missions from USS Saratoga (CV-3), Yorktown (CV-5), and Enterprise (CV-6). Bob was back in combat during the Korean War as Commanding Officer of VF-191 in 1953, flying the F9F-6 Cougar from the USS Oriskany (CVA-34). For his combat missions flown in both wars, Bob Elder’s awards included two Navy Crosses and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

    From the F8F Bearcat era and into the 1960’s, Bob Elder was recognized throughout Naval Aviation for his expertise in test and development of flying qualities, performance, carrier suitability, and in-flight refueling of Navy tactical aircraft. He was among the first Naval Aviators to fly jet aircraft, beginning with the Bell YP-80 and ME-262, and was a pioneer in the introduction of the first operational jet — the FJ-1 Fury — into Naval Aviation. Bob Elder’s “firsts” in the test and development of naval aircraft were numerous. His contributions to the conception of the F/A-18 Hornet were his legacy to the United States Navy. Over his career as a Naval Aviator, Bob piloted 142 different types of aircraft, was carrier-landing qualified in 34 types, onboard 28 different aircraft carriers.

    January 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm

  2. This is a beautiful blog. The photos are just amazing.

    January 13, 2012 at 11:29 pm

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