Forty-three years ago I (A. J. Northrup) was assigned as an airborne radio operator to the 961st AEW&C Squadron at Otis AFB, MA. This was in August 1955 and I was four months shy of my nineteenth birthday. Major Robert A. Bostick was one of the many fine officers I met and flew with in the squadron over the next four years. I still remember many of the other officers and the enlisted crew members but I remember Major Bostick probably best of all. Perhaps it was his personality, how he treated me, his being both an officer and a gentleman and particularly he was someone I could look up to with admiration and trust who always was willing to talk with me. I am glad that I was able to locate him after all that time and at my request, he as many others did, took time out of their routine to contribute something to this book.
Major Bostick arrived in the 961st just prior to me on June 14,1955 and except for a 1-1/2 year stint as 551st AEW&C Wing Chief of Current Operations -- he stayed with the 961st until August 31, 1961.
I remember Major Bostick as a Command Pilot, as an Aircraft Commander, as "A" Flight Commander and as a fantastic person. Major Bostick served as a 961st Flight Commander four times, as the Operations Officer for the 961st on three occasions, and was the Squadron Commander of the 961st for two period of time. In May 1961 Major Bostick completed 10,000 hours of flying.
His military career began in 1936 as a machine gunner in the Texas National Guard. Following this tour he entered aviation cadet training, class 42-J, and graduated to become a flight officer. It was not until 1944 while in the China-Burma-India theater where he flew seventy-eight missions over the hump and logged 550 combat hours in the C-46 that he received his commission. Major Bostick flew the Berlin airlift and flew twenty-eight transport support missions from Japan to Korea in the C-54. He later served as an Instructor Pilot in a Transport Training Unit and later as a Pilot with MATS [Military Air Transport Service]. Prior to his assignment at Otis Major Bostick served as Liaison Officer to the Royal Thailand Air Force, attached to the 315th Air Division, Tachikawa, Japan. Some of his military awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal & Command Pilot Wings.
MAJOR ROBERT A. BOSTICK, "A" FLIGHT COMMANDER OF THE 961 STAEW&C SQUADRON AT OTIS AFB, MA., RECEIVES HIS COMMAND PILOTS WINGS FROM SQUADRON COMMANDER LT. COLONEL ALFRED W. BARRETT, JR. PHOTOGRAPH APPEARED IN THE 1957 YEAR BOOK OF THE 551 ST AEW&C WING AT OTIS AFB.
LTC Robert A. Bostick at the 1999 Otis AFB reunion
Copyright AJ Northrup