Wednesday, February 15, 2006

MGen Robert A. "Bob" Rushworth, 1924-1993

In a distinguished aviation career that spanned nearly four decades, "Bob" Rushworth logged more than 6,500 flying hours and flew more than 50 different types of aircraft.
Rushworth gained notoriety as a test pilot at Edwards AFB, during which time he was assigned to NASA’s X-15 program. He was the second Air Force pilot in this program and one of eight men ever to attain the winged astronaut rating, which was then awarded only to military pilots for flights 50 or more miles high. He flew the X-15 rocket research aircraft a record 35 times.
During Rushworth’s first assignment at Edwards, he flew test missions in the F-101 Voodoos, TF-02 Delta Daggers, F-104 Starfighters, F-105 Thunderchiefs and F-106 Delta Darts. He returned to Edwards AFB in 1979 as commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center.
As a veteran of World War ii and the Korean War, he was assigned to the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing in Vietnam as deputy commander and flew 189 combat missions. He later served as the director of the AGM-65 maverick missile program, as commander of the 4950th Test Wing, Inspector General of AF Systems Command, Commander of the AF Test and Evaluation Center and Vice-Commander of Aeronautical Systems Division. He retired in 1981. Rushworth died at home on March 17, 1993.
Rushworth was honored by the Legion of Merit twice, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, 1 Air Medals, a Meritorious Service Medal, a Commendation Medal, HASA’ Exceptional Service Medal and the James A. Doolittle Award. He was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the International Space Hall of Fame and the Aerospace Walk of Honor (1994).