January 30, 2005
Engineering Wing, Royal Air Force
|Died when a Royal Air Force C-130K Hercules transport aircraft crashed during a flight from Baghdad International Airport to Balad Air Base.
|From Corinne Knight 04/10/07:
Bob and I were together for many years and were due to be married 16 weeks
after his death. My sons, his future stepsons, have been devastated by his
death and are still traveling the long journey of recovery.
He was a wonderful guy, we met teaching ten pin bowling to youngsters and he
had endless patience with all the children in his care and enjoyed watching
them grow into young adults and good bowlers. Even after 15 years , some of
them still keep in touch.
He also enjoyed motor biking and we had a Suzuki V Strom 1000cc sports
tourer. He liked fast cars as well and we enjoyed an Alfa Romeo T Spark.
He lived life to its fullest enjoying scuba diving, having held a glider
pilots license and not long before his death realizing the dream of free
fall parachuting. However, it was his home that gave him the most joy, we
lived together on a narrow boat on the canals of Britain, nothing gave him
more pleasure than waking up to the sounds of the birds and the lap of the
water against the boat. The friends we have made in this life have
sustained me and given me the strength to go on, boating people are
wonderfully kind and generous, just like him.
In this country, our heroes are not feted like in America and I find that
very hard to understand. When someone makes the ultimate sacrifice they
should always be held in the highest esteem. I have set up an organization
called Purple Salute ( www.purplesalute.org
) which honors the Living, in the
hope that it will encourage the British people to give their thanks for
courage before it is too late. I was blessed for knowing Bob, and more
blessed for always making sure he knew how much he was loved. I was so
proud of him then and even more so now.
|It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence can confirm that Sergeant Robert Michael O'Connor, Royal Air Force, is missing believed killed following the loss of an RAF C-130K Hercules aircraft over Iraq on 30 January 2005. Aged 38 and single, he was an Engineering Technician serving with the Engineering Wing at RAF Lyneham, the home-base for all RAF Hercules.
Bob O’Connor joined the Royal Air Force as an Apprentice in October 1985. On completion of his apprenticeship, he was posted to RAF Lyneham, where he spent the vast majority of his Service career, excepting a short tour at nearby RAF Brize Norton. He was held in the highest esteem and regard by his work colleagues and superiors for his knowledge, dedication and professionalism. During his tours, he was an active sportsman and a keen participant in all aspects of the fabric of station life. He will be sadly missed by his loved ones, colleagues and friends, particularly the small section of engineers who worked closely with him. All our thoughts are with his family and loved ones at the time.
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