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First Name: Robert

Last Name: Kirksey

Birthplace: Detroit, MI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: E.

Date of Birth: 05 August 1930

Date of Death: 16 December 2006

Rank or Rate: Vice Admiral

Years Served:
Robert E. Kirksey

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Robert E. Kirksey
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy

Robert E. Kirksey was born on 5 August 1930 in Detroit, MI.

Kirksey joined the Naval Reserve in 1948, was commissioned as an Ensign and became a Naval Aviator in 1953. As a Wing Commander combat pilot, he successfully flew more than 240 combat missions over Vietnam in 1967.

In 1972, his first command of a ship was as Captain of the USS Cleveland that participated in minesweeping operations in Haiphong Harbor in North Vietnam. His next command was the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, as he led Carrier Air Group 3 in Alameda and he was in charge of the 35-ship 7th Fleet battle force in the Indian Ocean from 1979-81. He commanded the U.S. 7th Fleet during the Iranian hostage crisis.

Kirksey retired from the Navy in August 1986 as a Vice Admiral, although he was not a graduate of the Naval Academy. That is an infrequent accomplishment.

Medals and Awards

Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star Medal with Combat "Valor" Device


Naval Aviator Badge

Death and Burial

Vice Admiral Robert E. Kirksey died on 16 December 2006 in Ft. Myers, FL, from Alzheimer's disease. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 2715   Created by: MHOH




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