Died November 30,2014
Brigadier General Robert V. Spencer is commander, 832d Air Division, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.
General Spencer was born in 1921, in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he graduated from South High School and attended the University of Utah. He entered the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in April 1942 and received his pilot wings and commission as second lieutenant in March 1943 at Altus Army Air Force Station, Okla.
During World War II, he flew P-40 Kittyhawk and P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft in the China-Burma-India, Theater of Operations. He is credited with 105 combat missions in 280 hours of flying time.
After the end of World War II, he remained in Shanghai, China. He returned to the United States in January 1946 and was assigned to Hill Army Air Field, Utah, as chief of the Flight Test Section. He remained in that position until April 1949 when he was assigned to the 13th Bombardment Squadron and later the 3d Bombardment Group, in Japan and Korea.
During the Korean War, General Spencer flew B-26 Invader aircraft on 56 missions with the U.S. Air Force and then was an exchange officer with the U.S. Navy. He completed more than 70 combat missions from the deck of an aircraft carrier flying Chance Vought Corsair, AD-4 and Banshee aircraft. He also flew with the 1st Marine Air Wing.
In January 1952 he returned to the United States and was stationed at Stewart Air Force Base, N.Y., as commander, 4700th Maintenance and Supply Squadron. From January 1954 to December 1955, he served an exchange tour with the Royal Air Force, and attended the RAF Staff College at Bracknell, England, and later tested British fighter aircraft at Boscombe Downs Test Center in England.
General Spencer became commander of the 326th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Grandview Air Force Base, Mo., in December 1955.In August 1959 he was selected to attend the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. After graduation in June 1960 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as chief, Fighter Branch, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. He later served as deputy chief and chief of Counterinsurgency Operations Division, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, and was given the task of establishing the Counterinsurgency Force of the Air Force.
In June 1963 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Lindsey Air Station, Germany, as director of personnel plans and one year later became director, readiness inspection, Office of the Inspector General.
He returned to the United States in July 1966 and assumed command of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. In February 1967 he became commander of the 479th Tactical Fighter Wing, George Air Force Base, Calif.
In September 1967 he was assigned as commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. He flew F-4 Phantom aircraft on 123 combat missions, 101 of which were over North Vietnam.
He was assigned as assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, in July 1968. He became inspector general for PACAF in February 1969. He was transferred to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., in June 1969 as commander of the 833d Air Division.
General Spencer served as inspector general, Tactical Air Command, from February 1970 to March 1972. He assumed command of the 832d Air Division, TAC, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., effective March 13, 1972.
His military decorations and awards include the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with 19 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation Emblem, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem, and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon. He is a command pilot with more than 7,000 flying hours.
General Spencer's hometown is Salt Lake City, Utah.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general effective Aug. 1, 1968, with date of rank July 4, 1968.
(Current as of May 1, 1973)