I’ll never forget the day before we were to return home we had a huge squadron party and the Russians must have known it because we had to scramble 8 times during the party!  We found out that we would be reassigned to Wurtsmith AFB, Oscoda, Michigan.  We would leave our F106’s in Korea and swap our aircraft with the unit replacing us.

I did get a “Dear John” letter while I was in Korea.  Things happen for a reason; right after I returned back to the States I met my wonderful wife to be Sharon.  I was sent on an immediate TDY to Phelps Collins Airport, Alpena after Korea.  The week I was there I met Sharon, the day after Thanksgiving, 1969.  I actually dated her best friend first and she ended up being our maid of honor the following year!  We were married in 1970.  I really thought that I would be getting orders for AK130 Gunships because it was our AFSC (322X) that maintained the fire control system on it.  Several of my buddies did get orders.  We decided to leave the Air Force after 7 ½ years.  I took a job immediately with Hughes Aircraft Company at Otis ANGB, Massachusetts as a Tech Rep on the F106 MA-1 system.  I only stayed with them for 18 months before I took on a full time position with the Michigan Air National Guard at Selfridge.

While in the Michigan Air National Guard I continued to work on the weapon control systems on the F106, A7D and F16 aircraft full time for 8 years.  While transitioning to the F16 aircraft the first Persian Gulf War broke out.  We quickly were elevated to get qualified to take our turn to go over to Iraq, but the War ended before we needed to go.  Since then the 127th TFW has been to Iraq 6 times!  I had a 9 year break in military service during which time I worked for General Motors.   During this 9 year break I pursued my college education, working afternoon shift as a technician, and commuted to downtown Detroit, while raising 3 kids.  I graduated from Wayne State University in 1983 with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.  GM promoted me to Engineer shortly after I graduated.

In 1987 I decided to return to the Air National Guard to finish out my military retirement of 20 years total military service.  My last 3 years in the Air Guard was a nice change of pace, working in the Base Career and Education Office as a career advisor.  I really enjoyed helping young people out.  I finally fully retired from the MIANG in 1993.

I went to Ford Motor Company in 1989 as a Powertrain Electronics Engineer.  After 4 years I transferred to Advanced Automotive Collision Warning Systems.  I was really able to utilize my Air Force radar and electronics training in this area.  I was promoted to Technical Expert and also was one of five US Experts in ISO and Intelligent Transportation Systems; there were only 45 worldwide experts in this area.  I was often called the “Father of US Parking Aid Systems.”  Ford was the first US Company to put parking aids on cars in 1997.  Eventually I was granted six US patents, I could have had many more but didn’t take the time to submit them.  I retired from Ford Motor Company in 2007.  I did dabble in selling cars at Briarwood Ford for 2 years.  My wife Sharon and I are fully retired now enjoying life: our 3 kids, 2 grandchildren, Florida in the winter, Notre Dame Football, many veterans activities keep me busy.  I’m active in the VVA Chapter 310, American Legion Post 322, VFW Post 423, Washtenaw County Veterans Honor Guard, Knights of Columbus and more…

The best 3 things that happened in my lifetime were:  1) Married to my wife Sharon, 2.)Family of 3 children and 3) My Air Force career, where it gave me my electronics education, my wife and my children!

By the way, our son Matt, right, has also pursued a career in the Navy, where he has been ironically working in the Fire Control Systems on submarines, similar to my Air Force career!

 Aim High!


Note:  Bob and Sharon moved to Vero Beach Florida. Bob transfered his
membership to VVA Chapter 1038.  He is currently 1038's 1st VP