ROBERT A. MCCLEERY, LTJG, USN
Robert McCleery '67
Date of birth: July 31, 1945
Date of death: November 25, 1969
From the 1967 Lucky Bag:
From the February 1970 issue of Shipmate:
Lt.(jg) Robert A . McCleery, USN, died 25 November at Jacksonville, Fla., when his aircraft collided with another.
A native of Kingston, Pa., Lt.(jg) McCleery was a member of the 26th Company and on the varsity lacrosse team for three years while at the Naval Academy. Following graduation from the Academy in June 1967, he reported to Pensacola for naval air training. In Aug. 1969 Lt.(jg) McCleery joined Attack Squadron 172, based at the Naval Air Station, Cecil Field and served as a pilot.
Survivors include his widow Linda of 5928 Firestone Rd., Apt. 209, Jacksonville, Fl. 32210; two daughters Kimberly and Tracy, and his parents Mr. and Mrs. Chester A McCleery of Garden City, N.Y.
From A-4 Skyhawk:
November 25, 1969
Lt(jg). John R. Martin and Lt(jg). Robert A. McLeery were killed when A-4C BuNo 149523 collided with A-4C BuNo 147839 at low level while in formation with a 3rd Skyhawk. Portions of one crashed into a home along State Road 13 about 30 miles south of Jacksonville, FL and the other cut a fiery swath through an orange grove in the Switzerland area of St. Johns county.
Ocala, FL, Ocala Star Banner, Wednesday, November 26, 1969.
From the Class of 1967 50th Reunion Yearbook, courtesy of William Belden '67:
Bob reported to the Naval Academy right after graduating from Garden City High School in Garden City, NY. An All-County lacrosse player, he used that talent with both the plebe and varsity teams, setting a plebe record of 39 goals. Bob was in top physical condition; one of his favorite tricks was to hand his books to his roommate and walk on his hands from Tecumseh Court to his room in the 5th wing, stairs included. He achieved excellent grades, seemingly without effort and helped his roommate pass his finals on more than one occasion.
Upon graduation, Bob opted for Naval Aviation and his efforts were rewarded with his selection for jet training. After training in the A-4 Replacement Air Group, he reported to Attack Squadron 172 (VA-172), the Blue Bolts, flying the A-4C aircraft. During an ordnance training mission on the afternoon of 25 November 1969 both he and fellow classmate, John Martin (35), died in a multi-plane, weather-related accident on the re- turn to NAS Cecil Field, FL.
Bob was survived by his wife, the former Linda Sawyer and two daughters.
Barton Creed '67 was also in 26th Company.
John Martin '67 was the other pilot killed in the collision.