Robert E. Bennett
December 8, 1942 ~ December 13, 1967
First Lieutenant Robert E. Bennett, age 25, USAF was killed in action in the Republic of Vietnam on December 13, 1967 when his F-4 fighter-attack aircraft succumbed to ground fire. Lieutenant Bennett ejected from the aircraft and landed in the Co Chien River, a body of water about three quarters of a mile wide where he went in. A Navy patrol boat was close to the scene and rescued the other pilot of the aircraft but Lt. Bennett was swept underwater by the swift current apparently being unable to escape the grasp of his parachute.
Search was made for several days to no avail and he was declared as KIA, body not recovered by the Air Force soon thereafter.
Lt. Bennett’s remains were recovered by a Vietnamese dredge operator during August of 2011 and repatriated to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, Hickam AFB, Hawaii for identification. Through their diligent efforts the remains were positively identified as belonging to Lt. Bennett. The family extends their overwhelming gratitude to the USAF and the USAF mortuary service for their diligent identification efforts.
Lt. Bennett was born December 8, 1942 and grew up in Springfield, New Jersey. He graduated from Newark College of Engineering, BSEE, in 1964 and was soon thereafter commissioned in the USAF. He underwent flight training in Georgia and later at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona where he met and married his wife, an air force nurse. He was deployed to the Republic of South Vietnam in June of 1967.
At the time of his death, Lt. Bennett was survived by his wife and by his mother and father. His wife has remarried and his parents have both passed. Presently, his surviving next-of-kin is Major William Bennett USMC retired his cousin and contemporary of Lt. Bennett, a Vietnam veteran also and a resident of Montrose for 12 years.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 11:00 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Montrose. A Graveside Service with Military Honors will follow at Cedar Cemetery east of Montrose. Arrangements are under the direction of Crippin Funeral Home & Crematory, Montrose, Co.