Robert E. McNamara, Jr. – Major, United States Air Force

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Robert E. McNamara Jr., 85, a retired Air Force Major whose second career was as a budget analyst at the Naval Air Systems Command, died of complications of sepsis February 23, 2007, at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Virginia.

Major McNamara, an Annandale resident, served in World War II, the Berlin Airlift and the Korean War and was stationed at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay during the Cuban missile crisis.

He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and grew up in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He enlisted in the Army Air Forces during World War II and was trained at flight school in San Antonio. He served in the Pacific theater, flying 48 combat missions as a navigator aboard B-26 Marauders and B-24 Liberators.

After the war, he was briefly demobilized but rejoined the military via the Air Force. He participated in the 1948-49 airlift of food and provisions to residents of West Berlin, served in the Korean War and was stationed at the former Prestwick Air Base in Scotland as a member of the Air Sea Rescue unit that aided downed airmen.

He also flew over Murmansk, Russia, and served in Cuba during the 1962 missile crisis, which historians believe brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war.

After 22 years in the military, Major McNamara retired in 1964. His military awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Shortly afterward, he joined the Naval Air Systems Command in Crystal City, where he worked as a budget analyst on aircraft weapons systems and the Cobra helicopter program.

Major McNamara enjoyed hunting, and, after his second retirement, traveling to Europe, especially Spain and Ireland. He loved to read and was a student of modern and ancient history.

He was a member of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church at Baileys Crossroads, the Fort Myer Officers' Club, the Military Officers Association of America and the American Legion in Annandale.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Emily M. McNamara of Annandale; two sons, Michael D. McNamara of Fairfax and Robert E.M. McNamara of Alexandria; a sister; and a brother.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 11/25/1921
  • DATE OF DEATH: 02/23/2007

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