Robert P. Baldwin

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Robert P. Baldwin
Robert Baldwin on the wing of an F-86 Sabrejet
Robert Baldwin on the wing of an F-86 Sabrejet
Born (1917-10-19)19 October 1917
Los Angeles, California
Died 7 April 1994(1994-04-07) (aged 76)
San Marcos, California
Buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Air Force Seal United States Air Force
Years of service 1940–1966
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel
Commands held

  • 51st Fighter-Intercept Group

  • World War II
  • Korean War
  • Cold War

Silver Star
Legion of Merit

Distinguished Flying Cross

Robert P. Baldwin (October 19, 1917 – April 7, 1994) was an Army Air Corps and United States Air Force pilot during World War II and Korea. He became a flying ace during the Korean War, shooting down five enemy aircraft.[1][2]

Military career[edit]

World War II[edit]

Robert Baldwin entered the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Corps on September 28, 1939, and was commissioned a second lieutenant and awarded his pilot wings at Kelly Field, Texas, on June 22, 1940. During the war, he took part in 75 combat missions, flying P-38s and P-40s in Europe between 1943-1945. As a lieutenant colonel, in May 1945 he was the commander of the 71st Fighter Squadron based at March Field, California.[3]

Korean War chronology[edit]

1948: Col. Robert Baldwin served as a military observer in Palestine
December 1948 to July 1949: Assistant Deputy for Maintenance and Chief of Flight Operations with Headquarters Oklahoma City Air Material Area at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma
July to December 1949: Attended Air Command & Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama
December 1949 to March 1950: Commander of the 56th Maintenance and Support Group at Selfridge Air Force Base, Michigan
March 1950 to June 1951: Col Baldwin was Deputy for Operations of the 56th Fighter-Interceptor Wing at Selfridge AFB
June 1951 to February 1953: Staff of Headquarters Air Defense Command at Ent Air Force Base, Colorado
February 1953: Joined the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing in Korea and was promoted to Commander after 3 missions. He flew a total of 85 combat missions, and has 800 hours on the F-86 achieving 5 aerial victories plus 3 damaged in the Korean conflict.

Cold War chronology[edit]

September 1953 to June 1955: Commander of Kisarazu Air Base, Japan
June 1955 to November 1958: Commander of the 4750th Air Defense Group at Vincent AFB, Arizona
November 1958 to June 1962: Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Pentagon
June 1962 to July 1965: Staff of Headquarters Allied Air Forces Southern Europe
July 1965 to June 1966: His final assignment was as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans with Headquarters Air Training Command at Randolph AFB, Texas. He retired from the service in June 1966.


Colonel Baldwin's ribbon rack on his service dress uniform.

Griffin was awarded the following decorations for his military service.


Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver star

Silver Star citation[edit]

Silver Star ribbon.svg Silver Star Medal
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Colonel Robert P. Baldwin, United States Air Force, for gallantry in action while serving as Pilot of an F-86 Fighter Airplane and Commanding Officer of the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group, in action on 22 June 1953, in Korea. Colonel Baldwin distinguished himself while leading four (4) F-86 type aircraft on a fighter sweep along the Manchurian Border. He sighted four (4) enemy MIG-15 type aircraft pressing an attack against two (2) friendly aircraft and immediately led his flight into the enemy. After successfully breaking up the enemy attack, Colonel Baldwin rolled down on the trailing MIG and fired a short burst into his left wing and fuselage. Colonel Baldwin continued to score numerous hits as heavy smoke poured from both wings and the enemy aircraft went into a steep dive through the clouds. Colonel Baldwin followed him through the cloud layer and pulled up sharply to avoid hitting the ground. Later reports confirmed the destruction of the MiG. By his personal courage and exceptional flying ability in this action, Colonel Baldwin is credited with destroying his fifth (5th) MIG-15 type aircraft. Throughout his tour, Colonel Baldwin's aggressive spirit and mental alertness have brought great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: 22-Jun-53
Service: Air Force
Rank: Colonel
Company: Commanding Officer
Regiment: 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 42
  2. ^ Gurney 1958, p. 248
  3. ^ "Robert P. Baldwin". Veteran Tributes. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Robert P. Baldwin". Military Times Hall of Valor. Retrieved 10 September 2012.