Robert (Bob) J. Yarnall Sr., USN, Ret. (1924-2015) was born on February 11, 1924 in Seattle, Washington. He left high school after two years and decided to join the Navy. He graduated from boot camp at Norfolk Naval Station in 1941 and was assigned to VP-91, a patrol squadron based at Quonset Point. When World War II broke out, he trained in aerial gunnery in California and was sent to Kaneohe Bay near Honolulu. On September 5, 1942, he flew his first combat patrol. On October 27, 1942, he received a commendation for participating in a dive bombing attack at the Battle of Santa Cruz.
After the war ended, he returned to Quonset as an aviation machinist and, in March 1947, played in the All Navy Basketball Tournament at Chicago. He also joined the Quonset Flyers baseball team. In the spring of 1947, Bob met his future wife, the late Jean Marjorie Teresino, a WAVE flight instrument trainer at Quonset. They eloped and married in Baltimore on November 23, 1948.
In February 1949, Bob joined VC-12 and deployed on aircraft carriers, serving in the Mediterranean aboard U.S.S. Franklin D. Roosevelt and aboard U.S.S. Midway in the South China Sea. He next joined VX-6, the Antarctica Development Squadron, reaching the South Pole during Operation Deep Freeze in 1959. Back at Quonset, Bob joined VAW-12, participating in Mediterranean cruises until the spring of 1961. He worked as Chief Aviation Machinist’s Mate for the Naval Aircraft Torpedo Unit (NATU) before his last sea duty in 1967 took him to seven European ports with VS-22 on the U.S.S. Essex. He retired with the rank of Chief in 1968.
More in 2015:
- CAPT William Calhoun
Captain William McBrayer Calhoun, USN, Ret. (1948-2015) was a long-time RI resident who graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1967. Capt. Calhoun was a LTJG with the highly decorated Helicopter Attack Squadron (Light) 3), nicknamed the “Seawolves”, an all-volunteer squadron formed in support of Naval Special Warfare operations and Mobile Riverine Forces.
- Bertrand T. Cournoyer
Bertrand “Bert” T. Cournoyer (1919-1967) was born and raised in Manville, RI. During WWII, Bert served as a French interpreter for General Claire Lee Chennault in Kunming, China.
- Lt. Colonel Daniel R. Fierro
Lt. Colonel Daniel R. Fierro, USAF, (Ret.) (1931 – 2007) was a long-time resident of North Kingstown, and served in the Strategic Air Command (SAC), first flying B47s and then B52s.