ROBERT H. SEARLE, ENS, USN

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Lucky Bag

From the 1948-B Lucky Bag:

1948 Searle LB.jpg

ROBERT HOWLAND SEARLE

SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA

The Golden Boy who tore himself away from California sunshine to taste the Navy salt . . . spent a year at Cal . . . making a name for himself . . . baseball . . . basketball. . . volleyball. . . deer hunting in the fall . . . the Navy fans cheered the Ace in the same sports . . . varsity letters all over the place . . . rates a Blue and Gold N too . . . hid his talents as a first rate golfer from most of us . . . dragged beautiful women to sit in the stands and cheer as he tipped in the tying point ... or pounded out a long triple . . . it's nothing he'd tell the proud beauty on his arm afterwards ... do it all the time, he wowed them . . . our six foot plus blond southpaw scored academic home-runs too ... no strain with the books . . . Executive Department took up his slack time during plebe and youngster years . . . thinks the airplane is here to stay . . . Naval aviation is the only thing that will keep the Ace away from Sunny California ... a fast plane ... a fast game . . . just call me Ace. In spite of this worldly sounding build up Ace is very much "one of the boys" . . . just like everyone else he is vulnerable to women and other unhealthy influences . . . California, being right in the middle of things, has been a good jumping off place for Ace . . . but the Golden State still holds his heart.

Bob was a three time varsity letter winner in basketball and the team's scoring leader his senior year. He graduated from the 8th Company with the class of 1948-B in June 1948. (The top half of the class academically, designated 1948-A, graduated in June 1947 as the last wartime-accelerated class.)

1948-B 8th Company

1948 Searle LB 1.jpg

Obituary

From Santa Cruz Public Library:

From the time he was ten years old, Bobby Searle dreamed of attending the US Naval Academy and becoming a naval officer.

Robert Howland Searle was born in Santa Cruz on February 5, 1925, to Dan and Mary Carroll Searle. He attended local schools and in 1938 entered Santa Cruz High School. While in high school, he played on both the basketball and baseball teams and was admitted into the Tong honorary society. At the time of his graduation in 1942, Searle was offered appointments to both the US Naval Academy and the US Military Academy.

After high school graduation, Searle enrolled in Rutherford Preparatory School in Long Beach followed by the University of California in Berkeley. While at Berkeley, he earned starting positions on the varsity baseball and basketball teams. He entered the US Naval Academy in 1945 and in addition to his midshipmen studies, was a member of the academy's varsity basketball and baseball teams.

Following his graduation from Annapolis in 1949, Searle was commissioned an ensign; he selected naval aviation as his branch. He attended flight school, earned his wings and was assigned to carrier duty. On August 10, 1950, while simulating a carrier landing at Barin Field in Foley, Alabama, Ensign Searle's plane crashed into a group of flight student spectators. Robert Searle was killed instantly and three of the spectators were injured by the crash. His remains were recovered and sent to Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California where they were interred.

Related Articles

Richard Schneider '48 is on the same page of the 1948-B Lucky Bag, which was organized by state.

Jack Robbins '48 was also on the basketball team.


Class Navigation

Class of 1948
Robert is one of 46 members of the Class of 1948 in Memorial Hall.
<< Don Stephens '48 David Swenson, Jr. '48 >>