Col. Robert (Bob) Waggoner
Bob was born in Jensen, Utah on June 2, 1935. He grew up in Steamboat Springs, Co. He
was the youngest of six children. He enlisted in the USAF in April of 1955 as an Aviation
Cadet in the pilot training program. Bob received his commission and wings in July of 1956.
After advanced training in F-86Ds, he served as an Air Defense interceptor pilot at Ellsworth
AFB in S. Dakota. Much of 1960 was spent in Goose Bay Labrador flying F89Js. He then
served in the Tactical Air Command as a weapons controller and later as a pilot/flight
instructor in the T-39. In March of 1966 he was sent to Nellis AFB, Nevada to become
certified in the F-105D, with a subsequent assignment to Korat AFB, Thailand.
He flew combat missions over N. Vietnam until his big 25 th mission. He was shot down and
captured by the N. Vietnamese on September12th, 1966. Bob spent 6-1/2 years as a POW.
He was released on March 4, 1973.
Upon his return to the good old USA he spent some time in medical recuperation and then
entered the Air War College, which is the senior professional military education school for the
U. S Air Force. He completed his B.S. from Troy State University. Bob returned to flying in
the T-38 and served as Chief of Wing Standardization and then Squadron Commander.
Upon being selected for promotion to full Colonel, he was assigned to the Air System
Command. After completing a 5 month crash course in System Management and contract
supervision, he reported to his assignment at Hughes Aircraft Co. as plant representative
officer. He held this position until his retirement in 1981.
He moved to Mammoth Lakes, planning to spend a year, skiing, fishing and planning his next
phase of life. He met Vicki Charest, and married her on September 11, 1982 and thus began
the happiest years of his life.
Bob was the recipient of numerous high military awards: Silver Star (2), Legion of Merit (2),
Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star (2) , and Purple Heart (2)
He leaves his wife Vicki, son Kyler, stepson Joseph, granddaughter Kasey, great-grandson
Luke and a hole in the hearts of his very many friends.
Donations in his honor can be made to National Wounded Warrior Center, Mammoth Lakes,
VFW Bishop, and I Care Bishop.
A celebration of Robert’s life will be held on September 12th from 2:00 to 4:00 PM at the Tri-
County Fairgrounds. All who knew Bob and wish to support his family are welcome to attend.