Robert Earl Worth

Aviation Machinist 2nd Class
United States Navy
04 March 1947 - 19 December 1970
Big Lake, Texas
Panel 06W Line 133

Navy Combat Aircrew

Purple Heart, Air Medal, Navy Achievement, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Robert E Worth

The database page for Robert Earl Worth

17 Apr 2004

Bob Worth was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and moved to West Texas when he was 14. He attended his freshman and sophomore years at Kermit High School and then moved to Big Lake where he attended and graduated from Reagan County High School, Class of 1965. Bob was a talented artist, musician, wood-worker and auto mechanic. He built a speedboat for a shop project in high school and tested it successfully at Lake Nasworthy in San Angelo. He helped form a auto racing club while in Big Lake. When he was a senior, he worked for the Big Lake Wildcat Newspaper.

He entered the U.S. Navy in 1966 and trained as a jet engine mechanic. While serving on the USS Yorktown, he participated in the pick-up of the Apollo 8 mission crew. On the USS Princeton, he was part of the pick-up crew for the Apollo 10 astronauts. He was all over the South Pacific. Eventually his duties took him to shore duty in Vietnam. He was a member of the Blue Beret Force. He was killed when the helicopter he was a crew member was shot down and crashed in December 1970.

He is remembered by the community of Big Lake, Texas as well as the surrounding communities of Reagan County, Texas and also by the Permian Basin Vietnam Memorial located at Midland International Airport, Midland, Texas, and the Tom Green Area Vietnam Memorial located at at San Angelo, Texas.

From a Permian Basin Vietnam Memorial representative,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762

26 Jan 2005

I graduated with Robert from Reagan County High School in 1965. I sold him the tires off of my 1953 Buick for his Packard. He was a good person. I also spent time in Southeast Asia while in the US Army, and I think about Robert as I grow older.

From a friend,
John W. Massey

29 Jul 2007

Long time no see, buddy of ours. We still remember and will always love you. Classmates at Reagan County High School.

E-mail address is not available.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

During the early days in Vietnam Naval forces operating in Military Regions III and IV relied on Army helicopter units for support, a situation that was less than satisfactory for both forces. The Army and Navy determined that it would be more effective to form Navy UH-1 gunship units using ex-Army UH-1B aircraft. Helicopter Composite Squadron 1 (HC-1) was the intitial Navy unit involved, establishing four detachments in southern South Vietnam. Within a month of activation, the four HC-1 dets were able to relieve the Army units from most routine requirements. On 1 April 1967 HA(L)-3 was formed from the four HC-1 detachments. The squadron flew more than 120,000 sorties before being decommissioned at Binh Thuy in March 1972. Forty-four aircrewmen were lost during HA(L)-3's five years of existence.

On 19 Dec 1970 four men died when SEAWOLF 312 (UH-1B tail number 63-12929) went down. Although the casualty records indicate it was a combat loss, the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots' Association database contains the following comment: "Crashed at WR31242 S/E of Kien Long. Hit ground inverted. Blade failure from blade overhaul errors at Bell. An Xugen Province, IV Corps, South Vietnam." The four aviators were

  • LTJG Richard H. Buzzell, Arlington, MA, pilot
  • LTJG Antonio O. Ortiz, Pirtleville, AZ, copilot
  • AEC Johnny Ratliff, Washington Court House, OH
  • ADJ2 Robert E. Worth, Big Lake, TX

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 17 Apr 2004
Last updated 08/10/2009