Robert Aitken “Bob” Rushworth (October 9, 1924 – March 18, 1993) was an American United States Air Force major general, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War pilot, mechanical and aeronautical engineer, test pilot and Astronaut. He was...Read More
Robert G. Hedgepeth
Robert entered active duty in the United States Air Force (USAF) on June 7, 1960, in Raleigh North Carolina and graduated from Undergraduate Navigator Training (Aviation Cadets) on April 20, 1961, at Harlingen Air Force Base Texas.
He was then assigned to the 4505th Air Refueling Wing (AREFW), 427th Air Refueling Squadron, Langley AFB, Virginia on April 21, 1961. The squadron air refueled the new F-4As 600 miles west of Lajes, Field Azores, during the fighter’s first Atlantic crossing to Europe.
Robert then deployed with 463rd Troop Carrier Wing, 773rd Troop Carrier Squadron from Langley AFB to Clark Air Force Base, Philippine Islands on November 14, 1965. He flew 496 Combat Support Missions in Southeast Asia, completing his first flying combat tour in Vietnam.
He then began flight training and graduated from the USAF Pilot Training Course, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, June 21, 1968. He was Dual Rated Senior Pilot/Navigator.
In June of 1968, he was assigned to the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, 524th Tactical Fighter Squadron for F-100D Upgrade Training School at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. He then began a tour of duty with the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing, 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Phan Rang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, March 13, 1969, flying the F-100D. Robert flew 238 combat missions and was awarded Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary flight in mountainous terrain, adverse weather, and under hostile fire resulting in a sizeable enemy force being destroyed. Completed second flying combat tour.
Robert was then assigned 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, 493rd Tactical Fighter Squadron (F-100D/F), Royal Air Force Base (RAF), Lakenheath, United Kingdom on February 4, 1970, in Dedicated Nuclear Alert Forces committed to targets in Eastern Europe.
On December 24, 1971 he was assigned to 354th Tactical Fighter Wing, 353rd Tactical Fighter Squadron at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, SC. He deployed with the Wing October 14, 1972 (72 A-7D aircraft 3 Squadrons) to Korat Royal Thailand Air Base in support of Linebacker II as Flight Lead of 6 A-7Ds from Myrtle Beach AFB to Davis Monthan AFB to Hickam AFB to Guam AB to Korat RTAFB. This was the first time in USAF history an overseas deployment arrived at a predetermined destination and at a predetermined time with all 72 aircraft according to the Air Tasking Order.
In total, Robert flew 106 combat missions in North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos and Completed three flying combat tours.
Robert retired as Lt/Col on June 30, 1980, and became a Boeing Flight Manual Tech-Data Writer.
Robert G. Hedgepeth, LtCol USAF (Ret), “Headed West” on February 7, 2022.
Lt. Colonel Robert G. “Bob” Hedgepeth of the United States Air Force died on Monday, February 7, 2022, at his son’s home in Niceville, Fl. He was preceded in death by his son, John, and his wonderful companion of 24 years, Joan Maher. He is survived by his son, Brett Hedgepeth, and wife, Suzanne, and their sons, Brennan, Will, and Lincoln all of Niceville.
Bob lived his dreams of being an Air Force pilot for 20 years. He then worked for Boeing Corporation in Saudi Arabia teaching the Saudis how to fly the Boeing planes. Finally, he worked with Boeing in St. Louis until he retired.
Memorial services were held on Wednesday, February 16th at Blaylock Funeral Home in Littleton, and then buried with military honors in Sunset Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local hospice or the charity of your choice.
- 4/20/1961 Undergraduate Navigator Training (Aviation Cadets), Harlingen AFB, TX.
- 4/21/1961-11/14/1965 427th Air Refueling Squadron/4505th Air Refueling Wing (AREFW), Langley AFB, VA (Refueled the new F-4As 600 miles west of Lajes, Field Azores, during the fighter’s first Atlantic crossing to Europe)
- 11/14/1965 773rd Troop Carrier Squadron /463rd Troop Carrier Wing, Langley AFB, VA/Clark Air Force Base, Philippines (496 Combat Support Missions in Southeast Asia. Completed first flying combat tour in Vietnam)
- 6/21/1968 USAF Pilot Training Course, Laughlin AFB, TX (Dual Rated Senior Pilot/Navigator)
- 6/22/1968-3/13/1969 524th Tactical Fighter Squadron/27th Tactical Fighter Wing, F-100D Upgrade Training School, Cannon AFB, NM (F-100)
- 3/13/1969-2/4/1970 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron/35th Tactical Fighter Wing, Phan Rang AB, Vietnam (F-100D – 238 combat missions)
- 1970-1972 493rd Tactical Fighter Squadron/48th Tactical Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England
- 12/24/1971 353rd Tactical Fighter Squadron/354th Tactical Fighter Wing, Myrtle Beach AFB, SC
- 10/14/1972-6/30/1980 354th Tactical Fighter Wing, Korat Royal AB, Thailand in support of Linebacker II. (A-7D) Flight Lead of 6 A-7Ds from Myrtle Beach AFB to Davis Monthan AFB to Hickam AFB to Guam AB to Korat RTAFB.
- 6/30/1980 Retired USAF
Awards & Decorations
Distinguished Flying Cross
Wall of Honor Location: Foil: 10 Panel: 2 Column: 3 Line: 44
Military & Civilian Education