DELATEUR ROBERT E
CW2 Robert E. Delateur was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 01/23/1985 at the age of 37.6 from A/C accident
NAS Whidbey Island, WA
Flight Class 68-23
Date of Birth 06/19/1947
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with 132 ASHC in 69-70
This information was provided by Rick Hawley, Bill McRae, SSN search
More detail on this person: I knew Bob Delateur from college (Central Wash State) AFROTC. I
ended up in the Navy in the P-3 Orion and had 2 WESTPAC deployments in VP-22. Bob went back to
school after his Army service, got a degree and went into the Navy as a pilot. He was declared dead
after going missing in a Navy A3 (B-66) attached to Fleet Air Recon Sqn One VQ-1. I saw his name
"in memory of..." in the VQ-1 Officers Wardroom at NAS Whidbey Island, WA. The A-3 went down 23
Jan 1985 apprx 125 nm NW of Agana, Guam. Bodies not recovered, cause unknown. The Sqn XO
verified who he was.
Bob was first/last/always an aviator. I didn't know him well. Sending this along FYI.
From: Rick Hawley, CDR USNR (ret)
In addition to the information you have on Robert E. Delateur, I offer:
I met Bob Delateur in 1974 when he joined Patrol Squadron Forty-Six (VP-46) at Naval Air Station
Moffett Field CA flying P-3 aircraft. I was also on my first Navy squadron tour but had just
qualified as a squadron instructor pilot and took Bob on his first squadron instructional flight.
Because he was still an Ensign, I knew he had been accelerated through the Navy pilot training
program and therefore had significant prior flight time. However, when I casually asked him how
much flight time he had, I was blown away by his response (3 or 4 thousand hours). In addition to
his Army helicopter flight time, he was an FAA Certified Flight Instructor and had considerable
private aircraft flight time.
Bob also owned a Citabria aerobatic aircraft but, while we were deployed, it was lost in a crash
while being ferried to storage. When we returned from deployment, Bob bought a Cessna 170
tail-dragger airplane and I was fortunate to have four flights with him in it. We became close
friends and my wife and I are godparents to his second child.
After VP-46, Bob followed me to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey CA which was the last
time we were actually together. After PG School, he took my advice to take a one-year unaccompanied
overseas tour and was the aide to Commander Middle East Naval Forces (a Rear Admiral) in Bahrain.
From there, he went to Patrol Squadron Thirty-One (VP-31), the West Coast P-3 training squadron, for
two years as an instructor pilot.
At that point, Bob was a Lieutenant Commander and due to rotate to an operational P-3 squadron as a
Department Head but, because he had had short tours in pilot training, PG School, and Bahrain, he
was about two years ahead of his contemporaries so he was sent to VQ-1 as an interim assignment
flying the EP-3 aircraft.
Before Bob's death, he had taken an EP-3 to Japan but had an engine problem and a replacement
engine was going to be some time coming so his squadron commander offered to take him and some of
the P-3 crew home on the squadron's re-configured A-3 transport. Ironic that with all his pilot
time and Army combat time in Vietnam, Bob died as an aircraft passenger.
My wife and I are still in contact with Bob's widow who remarried.
Brendan J. O'Donnell
Captain, US Navy (Ret)
This information was last updated 05/30/2022
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