Robert F. Baldwin – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

September 22, 2010

DOD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of five soldiers who died in a helicopter crash September 21, 2010, during combat operations in Zabul province, Afghanistan, while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. All soldiers were assigned to 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Killed were:

Lieutenant Colonel Robert F. Baldwin, 39, of Muscatine, Iowa.

Chief Warrant Officer Matthew G. Wagstaff, 34, of Orem, Utah.

Chief Warrant Officer Jonah D. McClellan, 26, of St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Staff Sergeant Joshua D. Powell, 25, of Pleasant Plains, Illinois

Sergeant Marvin R. Calhoun Jr., 23, of Elkhart, Indiana

Baldwin was assigned to the brigade headquarters; Wagstaff, McClellan and Calhoun were assigned to the 5th Battalion; and Powell was assigned to the 6th Battalion.

UPDATE:  September 24, 2010 – Major Baldwin was posthumously promotion to Lieuetnant Colonel.

24 September 2010:

Western Illinois University alumnus Major Robert F. Baldwin was killed September 21, 2010, while on a Special Operations mission, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Baldwin, who graduated in 1993 with bachelor's degree in industrial technology, died when his Blackhawk UH-60 helicopter carrying international troops crashed in the Zabul province of southern Afghanistan. He was one of the nine soldiers assigned to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, killed in combat.


“The Western Illinois University community expresses its deepest sympathies to Major Baldwin's family, friends and fellow soldiers,” said President Al Goldfarb in a University Relations press release.

During his time at Western, Baldwin was a member of the ROTC program and the Western Chapter of Delta Upsilon fraternity.

David Maguire, co-adviser of the fraternity, describes Baldwin as a very intelligent individual who knew military service was his calling as soon as he was commissioned in December 1993.

“Once he was commissioned, he knew that it was what he wanted,” Maguire said.

Military Science Chair Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Seifert commended Baldwin for his work although he was not a part of the department during Baldwin's time at Western.

“He was a great student who graduated cum laude and a great soldier,” Seifert said.

While in service, Baldwin was awarded a Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service and 17 other military honors.

“He was an overall great guy,” Maguire said.

Baldwin is survived by his wife, Danielle Raush Baldwin of Clarksville, Tenn., his parents Gary and Cheryl Baldwin of New Boston, Illinois, and four children.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert F. Baldwin of Eliza Township, Illinois was a 1989 graduate of Sherrard High School, and a 1993 graduate of Western Illinois University.

Colonel Baldwin entered the Army in February of 1994 and arrived at Fort Campbell in January of 2007. He was an Aviation Liaison Officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

His Awards and Decorations include, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Arrowhead Device, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Air Assault Badge, Parachutist Badge and Senior Army Aviator Badge.

He leaves his wife, Danielle, two daughters Rachel and Meaghan, two sons Keegan and Patrick, and his parents Gary and Cheryl Baldwin. He died in a helicopter crash at age 39 during combat operations in Zabul province, Afghanistan, while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. He was posthumously promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

24 September 2010:

An Illinois soldier who grew up near the Quad Cities is among nine U.S. military service members who died this week in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

Major Robert F. Baldwin, 37, of New Boston, Illinois, was a liaison officer with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He joined the Army in 1994.

There was some confusion among military officials Thursday about his hometown, which initially was reported by the U.S. Department of Defense as Muscatine, Iowa. However, Baldwin was an Illinois native who graduated in 1989 from Sherrard High School in Sherrard, Illinois, and from Western Illinois University in 1983, according to Illinois officials. His parents, Gary and Cheryl Baldwin, live in rural New Boston.

Survivors include Baldwin's wife, Danielle, two daughters and two sons, all of Clarksville, Tennessee.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Baldwin will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery next week, but the family will host a memorial-type of service tonight at Immaculate Conception Church.

Baldwin, 37, of Muscatine, Iowa, died September 21,2010, in Qalat, Afghanistan, when he and eight others were aboard a Black Hawk helicopter that crashed.

He and four other soldiers from Fort Campbell, all members of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, were killed in the crash.

Baldwin's wife, Danielle, said ICC is calling the service tonight a “vigil service,” which will include a sermon, eulogy and readings from the Bible and other passages. The service is set from 5 to 7 p.m.

The couple has lived in Clarksville for three years and Baldwin deployed twice with the 101st Airborne Division, she said.

The official funeral will be held at 9 a.m. October 13, 2010, in Arlington, Virginia. He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Robert F. Baldwin
An Army carry team carries the transfer case containing the remains of Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert F. Baldwin of Illinois, upon arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware on Wednesday, September 22, 2010


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 08/11/1971
  • DATE OF DEATH: 09/21/2010

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