ROBERT J. CAMERON, MAJ, USAF

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Robert Cameron '53

Date of birth: February 24, 1930

Date of death: January 28, 1969

Age: 38

Lucky Bag

From the 1953 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Bob was lost when his F-4 Phantom II crashed in South Vietnam on January 28, 1969.

From the April 1969 issue of SHIPMATE.

From the April 1969 issue of SHIPMATE:

Maj. Robert J. Cameron, USAF, died 28 Jan. in a military aircraft accident, at Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam. Interment took place in Inglewood Park Cemetery, and a memorial service was held at Faith Lutheran Church, Morningside, Inglewood, Calif.

Maj. Cameron, born in Winnipeg, Canada, was a one-time holder of the world's record in high school shot put and quarterback in varsity football at the Naval Academy. He was graduated from the Academy in 1953, was commissioned in the Air Force and became a fighter pilot. While assigned to Okinawa he flew the F-86. He was a member of the 435th Tactical Fighter Squadron at George Air Force Base, Calif., attended Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and had temporary duty to Maron, Spain.

Following two years with combat operations, Detachment 10, Incerlik, Turkey, Maj. Cameron was an air instructor with Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Southern California. He attended Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base before joining the 431 Tactical Fighter Squadron at GeorgeAir Force Base, followed by duty with the 559 Tactical Fighter Squadron in Vietnam. He was a veteran of more than 175 missions and 250 hours of combat; among his awards he held the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Survivors include his widow Jacklyn of 3505 W. 85th St., Inglewood, Ca. 90301; three sons Scott H., Robert J. and Jon E., and his parents Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell J. Cameron of 524 Grace Ave., Inglewood, Ca. 90301.

It seems that the aircraft he was piloting was s/n 63-7441 (incorrectly listed as January 27). It appears he was departing on a combat flight when the aircraft struck a barrier on takeoff.

He is buried in California.

Remembrances

From Wall of Faces:

I attended Washington High School at the same time as Bob. I was aware that he was special. A super athlete very good student and student body president. He was named all city quarterback, all city and state champion in the shot put. He was appointed to the Naval Academy and quarterbacked the Navy football team in his senior year. I was a freshman when he was a senior and he was very friendly. Bob Cameron was fearless on the football field and apparently fearlessness carried over into his combat missions as a fighter pilot.

I will never forget Bob. I was lucky to have known him. He made a difference in every thing he got involved in. The best way to describe his loss is that it was suffocating to hear of his death. May the Hero rest in peace. ROBERT OCHOA (WASHINGTON- S'49), 6/6/14

MAJ Cameron was my Commandant of Cadets at AFROTC Detachment 60 at the University of Southern California before he went to the RVN. He had been an All-City quarterback at a Los Angeles high school before he went to the United States Naval Academy where he also played quarterback for the Middies. Once on a very bumpy flight from L.A. to the Air Force Academy, it seemed that he and I were the only ones who weren't airsick, rather odd since most of the other passengers were also AFROTC. But he outdid me by eating a ham sandwich and drinking milk from the box lunches they gave us. I passed. On the flight I asked him why he didn't take his commission in the Navy and he said emphatically, "because I don't like boats." Sadly, for whatever reason, when I visited the Naval Academy years later, I noticed that his name was missing from the list of academy graduates killed in Vietnam that hangs in Bancroft Hall. That is a shame. RIP, Major, go easy. DANIEL H. CANEDO, 10/7/13

I'm his grandson, Jonathan Cameron. I know that I am the way I am due to a big effect that he had on my father's life, Scott. Well, it rubbed off a little on me, and helped inspire me to find what I would love to do in life. I thank him for my father, and how he gave him a great head start in life. Cheers. JONATHAN, JACAMERON01@YAHOO.COM, 10/29/11

He was my High School Football and Track hero BILL TUBBS, BNDCO@ADELPHIA.NET, 5/31/06

Memorials

Bob is among those names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Memorial Hall Error?

Bob is not listed on the killed in action panel in the front of Memorial Hall. While not an obvious error, inclusion on the panel for crashes like this (incidental to combat flights) has been inconsistent across WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.


Class of 1953

Robert is one of 62 members of the Class of 1953 in Memorial Hall.