TACAMO Fallen Brother Bob Downey
July 7, 1942 - January 27, 2017
TACAMO Pioneer Departing
The first two TACAMO ‘home-grown’ Skippers, serving in the early 1980s were Fil Baca now of Oak Harbor Washington and Bob Downey, of late of the Tampa Florida region. Fil led VQ-3 as it stood up to full 100% airborne coverage with new Hercs while Bob led VQ-4 as it continued to soldiered on with the mission ops they started in the early 70s. In his career, Bob (as did Fil) started as a white hat, later was commissioned and served as a Naval Flight Officer before TACAMO was ever a warfare specialty. He served in VQ-3 and VQ-4 with tours aboard a carrier as the Comm Officer, a pioneering duty that he and Fil both executed at nearly the same time. He also served an exchange tour at Tinker with AWACS, long before TACAMO even thought of moving there. Post command he led Comm Station Roosevelt Roads Puerto Rico and served on the staff of US Central Command. As Skipper Mike Davidson so eloquently put it “This year is not starting off well with us losing so many pioneers already”. Bob donated his flight jacket and his rich Navy history with TCVA for the TACAMO Heritage Center. Fair winds and following seas, RIP Skipper Downey.
DOWNEY, Capt. Robert Vincent USN (Ret.), 74, entered into rest January 27, 2017. He was born July 7, 1942 in Linden, NJ, the son of Vincent and Mabel Downey. He served for 28 years for our nation during which he was honored with several medals including: National Defense Service Medal w/Silver Star, Humanitarian Service Medal, the Navy "E" Ribbon, Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Star, USAF OLC, Air Medal with USAF OLC, USAF Outstanding Unit with two OLC’s, Meritorious Unit Commendation with four Stars, the USAF Maint Award, Navy Expeditionary Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with four Stars, Vietnam Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. Bob enjoyed a leadership role with both Navy League and the Sea Cadets. Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Patty Downey; son, Jack Downey; daughter, Tina (Bobby) Williams; and three grandchildren, Brittany (Jeff) Fleishman, Catherine Downey and Bobby Downey. Interment with Military Honors will take place on Feb 13, 2017 at 12:15pm at Fort Logan National Cemetery, 4400 W Kenyon Ave, Denver, CO 80236. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Bob’s memory to a Veteran’s organization of your choice.
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