Brig Gen Robert L. Cardenas, USAF (Ret), Daedalian Life Member #3230

Brig Gen Robert L. Cardenas, USAF (Ret)

March 10, 1920 – March 10, 2022

Brig General Robert Cardenas passed peacefully in his sleep on 10 March 2022, his 102nd birthday.
General Cardenas had a very distinguished Air Force career. Some highlights included:

  • Establishing the Army Air Corps Glider School.
  • Flying the B-24 with the 44th Bomb Group during WWII. On his 20th mission his aircraft was shot down but he escaped capture and eventually returned to his unit in England.
  • Piloting a captured Me 262 and Ar 234 when assigned to the Flight Test Division at Wright Field.
    Performing as the Officer in Charge and the pilot of the B-29 that launched Chuck Yeager in the Bell X-1 supersonic experimental aircraft.
  • Being the Chief Air Force Test Pilot of the YB-49 flying wing program.
  • Flying the F-105 on combat missions during the Vietnam conflict.
  • After his military service he worked with the VA to help establish the National Cemetery at Miramar.

General Cardenas received many military awards and decorations including the AF Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit and DFC.
He was also inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the International Air & Space Hall of Fame.
At Flight 13’s Daedalians meeting on 10 March, his 102nd birthday, we made a toast to his very distinguished life.
We all salute General Cardenas for his outstanding military career, and we are proud that he was a long-time member of Daedalians San Diego Flight 13.


To read his full Air Force biography, click here.