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Lt. Gen. Robert “Bob” D. Springer, USAF (Ret), Daedalian Life Member #2262

Lt. Gen. Robert “Bob” D. Springer, USAF (Ret)

January 17, 1933  – August 19, 2021

By: Col. Joe Fitzpatrick, USAF (Ret), Daedalian Life Member #9321

We all knew Lt Gen Bob Springer was gravely ill, but it still stings to hear he flew his “final flight” on August 19th. It is a sad day for our Flight and the US Air Force, we lost a great American. We missed having him at our meetings since he moved closer to family in Pennsylvania.

He was the driving force for the establishment of our Flight and was our initial Flight Captain when the Harley H. Pope Flight was chartered back in March 1977. Gen Springer was a Life Daedalian member since 1964. He was presented a Daedalian Coin, engraved with the number 50, during a visit by National Commander Lt Gen Nick Kehoe. Even though Gen Springer was in failing health, the family enjoyed reading the Daedalus Flyer, our Flight Newsletter and other correspondence to him.

Our Flight is full of Gen Springer stories, I knew he volunteered his time for many causes, he jokingly told me one time his middle name was “Pro Bono”. He made it known to me and previous Flight Captains if our speaker was a “no-show” he’d jump in to give a talk to the Flight. He was never at a loss for words.

One of my favorites stories was when he was in Vietnam in 1966 as the Chief of Intelligence with the 1st Air Commando Squadron at Pleiku Air Base. He was on duty and sat in on the debrief of Major Bernie Fisher just after he returned from rescuing his downed A-1 wingman. Major Fisher was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic action.

Col. Fitzpatrick’s last visit with Gen. Springer before he moved to Pennsylvania.

Gen Springer always spoke proudly about the Air Force Memorial and his plans to be buried within eye sight of the memorial next to his beloved Bonnie. Standing in Section 55, you can see the Air Force Memorial through the trees. He played a major role as the Air Force Memorial Advisory Committee chairman and assisted with the site selection and design.

He loved to talk about his education at the Patton Masonic School for Boys in Elizabethtown, PA. He told us many times at Flight meetings, he was only five feet and one inch tall and weighed less than 100 pounds his senior year and he was on the football team!

Gen Springer was proud to say he was the last B-29 qualified aircrew member on active duty when he retired in 1986.

A memorial service and celebration of life for Gen Springer was held on September 18, 2021 at Our Savior Lutheran Church, Southern Pines, NC. A funeral service and burial at Arlington National Cemetery will be held at a later date.

We are honored to have been designated by Gen Springer’s family to receive donations in his name. We will establish an annual scholarship next spring to a worthy Air Force ROTC Cadet.

Please keep Gen Springer’s family in your prayers.