ROBERT W. FALKENBACH, JR., CAPT, USMC
Robert Falkenbach, Jr. '93
Date of birth: May 20, 1971
Date of death: September 16, 1998
From the 1993 Lucky Bag:
An article appearing in the Clarion Ledger on September 19, 1998 reported that the crash occurred during night training maneuvers about 12 miles off the coast at Oceanside just north of San Diego, CA. All on board were lost.
The UH-1 Huey helicopter was practicing takeoff and landing from the USS Rushmore. The crew was not using night vision goggles … It was not immediately known what caused the helicopter to plummet into the ocean, or whether it was taking off or landing when the crew experienced trouble …
From USNA '93:
Captain Robert William Falkenbach, USMC, age 27, died on 16 September 1998 in a helicopter accident off the coast of San Diego, CA. He was born May 20, 1971 in Carmel, California.
Robby graduated from the Naval Academy from 8th Company, with a Bachelor of Science in Economics on May 26, 1993. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. In April 1994, 2nd Lt. Falkenbach was transferred to the Naval Aircraft Training Center, NAS Pensacola FL, for training as a Naval Aviator. He underwent primary and intermediate fixed wing flight training at VT-3, NAS North Whiting Field, Milton, FL. He continued his advanced helicopter flight training at HT-8, NAS South Whiting Field, Milton, FL.
In May 1995, he was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant. After successfully completing flight school and earning his "Wings of Gold," 1st Lt. Falkenbach was assigned to Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 303, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3D Marine Aircraft Wing, MCAS, Camp Pendleton, CA, for training as a UH-1N (Huey) Pilot. In June 1996, Robby joined the "Stingers" of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267, MAG 39, 3D MAW, Camp Pendleton, CA, where he was assigned as a UH-1N Pilot.
1st Lt. Falkenbach deployed with the "Stingers" to Okinawa, Japan, where he served aboard ship with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. He was promoted to Captain in August 1997. His decorations include National Defense Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
Capt. Falkenbach is survived by his parents Colonel (Ret.) Bob ('62) and Maureen Falkenbach; three sisters Laura (Major, USMCR, '85), Christine, and Kimberly; five nieces and nephews Laura Rose, Tyler, Christopher, Cora and Hunter; and countless friends.
Robby will always be remembered as a kid and a brother to many. His smile, boundless energy and carefree attitude touched the lives of hundreds and made those around him feel special. "I ain't afraid."
D. George Beiter Lieutenant,U.S. Navy Navy Office of Information