Robert H. Searle (1950/08/10)
From the time he was ten years old, Bobby Searle dreamed of attending the US Naval Academy and becoming a naval officer.
Robert Howland Searle was born in Santa Cruz on February 5, 1925, to Dan and Mary Carroll Searle. He attended local schools and in 1938 entered Santa Cruz High School. While in high school, he played on both the basketball and baseball teams and was admitted into the Tong honorary society. At the time of his graduation in 1942, Searle was offered appointments to both the US Naval Academy and the US Military Academy.
After high school graduation, Searle enrolled in Rutherford Preparatory School in Long Beach followed by the University of California in Berkeley. While at Berkeley, he earned starting positions on the varsity baseball and basketball teams. He entered the US Naval Academy in 1945 and in addition to his midshipmen studies, was a member of the academy's varsity basketball and baseball teams.
Following his graduation from Annapolis in 1949, Searle was commissioned an ensign; he selected naval aviation as his branch. He attended flight school, earned his wings and was assigned to carrier duty. On August 10, 1950, while simulating a carrier landing at Barin Field in Foley, Alabama, Ensign Searle's plane crashed into a group of flight student spectators. Robert Searle was killed instantly and three of the spectators were injured by the crash. His remains were recovered and sent to Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California where they were interred.
(USDVA; SCR November 17, 1944 -4, SCSn August 10, 1950 1:1, SCSn August 24, 1950 1:2)