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This is an index of an oral history interview with Bob Walker. It was conducted November 14, 2014. The interviewer is Brianna Crews.
In this interview, Bob Walker discusses his service in the U.S. Air Force flying rescue missions during the Vietnam War and Cold War.
Bob Walker was born on June 12, 1932, and grew up on his family’s cotton farm in Pecan Gap, Texas. He graduated from Cooper High School, and he worked his father’s land to save money to attend East Texas State Teachers College (ETSTC) in Commerce, Texas. Walker enrolled in 1952, and joined the Air Force R.O.T.C. He graduated in May 1956, and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on December 6th of that year.
Walker reported for duty at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio for basic training, after which he underwent pilot training in Bainbridge, Georgia. He was too tall to be a fighter pilot, so he was sent to Oklahoma for multi-engine pilot training where he learned to fly transport aircraft. On March 11, 1958, Walker earned his wings and shipped out to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where he flew helicopters for the Boeing Michigan Aeronautical Research Center. He remained in Florida for two years before he transferred to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, where he spent two years flying rescue missions.
After his service in the Philippines, Walker returned to the U.S. to serve at Kinglsey Air Force Base in Oregon, where he continued to fly rescue missions. Walker was disappointed that he was not able to be a fighter pilot, so he left the military in 1964, and earned a Master’s Degree in business from Arizona State University.
Following his graduation, Walker returned to Texas to work at Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth. He worked for the company for 25 years. He also was accepted into the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, where he met several of the first American astronauts. Bob Walker retired from Bell in 1990.
Special Collections and University Archives
Walker, Bob and Crews, Brianna, "Bob Walker, Oral History Index" (2014-11-14). All Oral Histories. 104.
Cold War; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; United States. Air Force; Clark Air Base (Philippines); East Texas State State Teachers College -- Alumni and alumnae; Arizona State University -- Alumni and alumnae
East Texas War and Memory Project; ETWMP; Texas A&M University-Commerce; TAMUC; ETSTC