East Greenwich resident LCDR Robert McCollough, USN (Ret) 1924-2008 posted a record of more than 50 years of achievement in military and commercial aviation in the State of Rhode Island.
Bob enlisted in the Navy in 1943 after graduating from high school in Pennsylvania. Trained as a fighter pilot, Ensign McCollough flew F4F Wildcats from escort carriers in the Pacific theater during WW II. For his service LCDR McCollough received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Silver Star.
Bob and his family came to RI for the first time in 1953; he was stationed at Quonset NAS and served on the USS Wasp, USS Tarawa, and USS Leyte. In 1961 he became the Head Flight Test Officer for the O&R facility at Quonset (later called the Naval Air Rework Facility–NARF), a position he held until his retirement in 1964. He then taught in the North Kingstown public school system for more than 25 years, and was an active member of numerous civic and fraternal organizations in the state.
Throughout his teaching career and after his retirement, McCollough continued to fly. He flew charter and scheduled flights for Newport Aero, and at Quonset Aircraft Services, he tested and delivered the airplanes that QAS serviced. Since Bob was qualified in virtually all civilian light and medium aircraft, he picked up and delivered planes throughout the US and parts of Latin America.
At the time of his death Bob McCollough had a total of 7,680 hours of flight time, approximately 4000 of which was as a Naval Aviator.
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