30 November 1957 – Capt Benny Lacombe is killed when he unsuccessfully attempts to bail out of Lockheed U-2A, 56-6704, Article 371, 13 miles SE of Laughlin AFB. Ejection seats had not yet been fitted to U-2s at this point. The history of the U-2 program is fraught with fatalities and crashes. “CIA pilots Wilburn S.
Robert D. Gobble
Bob Gobble played on the Clemson Orange Bowl Team in 1957 and the Sugar Bowl Team in ‘1958. Upon graduation from Clemson in 1959, he joined the United States Air Force becoming a fighter pilot. Bob was stationed at multiple Air Force bases in the US and overseas (including WPAFB, Okinawa, Takhli, and Korat AB) until his military retirement in 1980.
He flew 129 combat missions in Vietnam flying in the F-105D and F-105G Wild Weasel earning him the Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross (1966). He worked on the F-15 fighter development program until retirement from the military in 1980 and entered the civilian workforce at WPAFB working in the F-15 System Program Office.
In January 1991, Bob retired as the Chief of Engineering for the F-15E fighter, completing 37 years of government service. In 1992 he and was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service Award.
After retiring from WPAFB, Bob worked at H & R Block in Fairborn and then became a volunteer for VITA at the Beavercreek Senior Center where he completed local resident’s tax returns for over 25 years.