Captain Ferguson was one of the best men I have ever known. He and my father, Jim, served together in the Navy. Proud to say my father was his XO in VA-176 and they remained friends from then on. I will always think of him as family. I know there are no words that can blunt this loss, but we are all better people for having known him and I will always smile looking back at the times we had together. I learned to waterski behind his boat- and had many other adventures at the lake with our friends and family there- and he was always a constant, never wavering and reliable- putting others before himself. A constant quiet source of strength. If I could see him one more time the one thing I would say is thank you for your example.
Bob Ferguson was one of the finest people I ever had the honor of serving with. Emily and I have lasting memories of the time spent with the Fergusons while I was assigned to VA-176. Our condolences to Pat and the family. Bob will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.
Doug and Emily Stover
Dear Pat, Louise an I join all others in sending our deepest condolences and strongest well-wishes for all of you to find peace in the memories of “Ferg” as I knew him. I lived with him off base in the house he bought when we got to VR-3 in 1963 — he of course, as a pilot and I as an NAO.
He was all of the things described above by others - always exuded huge confidence, didn’t suffer fools, but was also a very kind person.
One of my memories is as we were on an early am departure from Hickman on my first VN mission, headed to Wake. Unknown to us was that the ground crew had significantly overloaded our C-130E. It was a hot morning, and as we rolled past liftoff and no return point, and with a grove of trees off the end of the runway, and we rolled onto the dirt, he was calmly saying “C’mon, fly you xxx, fly”, and we did miss the trees. But then we were clawing our way upward without enough airspeed to start a turn yet, but there was Diomand ahead looking in front of us. He finally and cooly dropped the nose, picked up enough air speed to commence the turn to the west, and all was good. That was the day I knew that I had made a good decision to be a navigator and leave the driving to guys like him who were the world’s best aviators with nerves of steel. All I had to do was find wake island (before satellites and GPS)
I also remember how good a neighbor he was at that house in Willingboro, and how concerned he was that we kept the place ship shape, how kindly he was to the little kids next door, and to the neighbors on the other side.
When my tour was ending there, he asked me to go with him to A6s, but I had my priorities and he surely knew what he wanted to do, but I was greatly honored to be asked by him.
I have the greatest amount of respect for who he was and how he lived his life in service to our country.
May you all have joy in the memories of him and his presence among you.
I am sorry to hear this news as well. Bob was the CO of VA-176 when I got to know him. He was one of the most dignified and respected officers in the Navy I ever knew. He was kind and patient and always a gentleman. I remember a time when he was sitting in the Ready Room drafting a message when I was the OOD sitting at a desk next to him. He asked me how to spell something and I answered with a guess on how the word should be spelled. Then he asked me if I knew if that was right, and I answered him with a "no sir". He asked me what I was going to do to find out for him, and I told him I would go get a dictionary and show him the proper spelling, which I did. He was very happy with that response and thanked me. I can tell you that it was a great pleasure for me to serve under Bob, and I have always referred to Bob as the epitome of a professional Naval Officer.
Pat wish you all the best and sorry for your lost. Everytime I think of Spiro I remember we were a flight of two headed back to the good old USS America and Spiro had some bombs left so he was going to dump them on this island off the coast of Vietnam, and it was dusk, getting dark, and our aircraft lights were on and I was just orbiting since I did not have any left, and I was watching him roll-in and as soon as his aircraft nose went down the entire island opened up with Tripple A Fire, quiet a show. As soon as that happen he pulled up and his bombs came off and hit the water. That island was not worth getting hit with enemy fire. I guess the boys and girls on that island were tired of gettin dumped on. Great Squadron Mate and Leader. I have a Signed Print of Spiro when he was a CAG flying the F14. Remember seeing you and Spiro in Pensacola at the Intruder Reunion. Ellen/Heather and Stumpie Moore VA-35 Raygun
Dear Pat, Stu Allison here, sending most sincere and loving sentiments to you and your family. Bob was an imposing gentleman with whom I shared many post Navy years teaching young Intruders. How could anyone work along side Bob not know and respect what a consummate professional he was. My time teaching with Spiro and his close knit team was the joy and satisfaction of being in the company of the best of the best. He probably never knew of the affection I had for him. I express that now, so you can feel some sense of uplifting during these difficult times. Off/Safe, and with love, Stu
attempt two on this site
my heartfelt sympathy at this time. During my post Navy years, the most special years were those shared with Bob as we taught young Intruders. And, mostly, it was Bob’ s imposing demeanor- always a gentleman - which I admired. And I respected his knowledge and professionalism. I valued his friendship. Blessings to you. Love, Sru
Dear Pat - I am sure the heavenly BACK BAR is open and all INTRUDER'S are
having a rum and coke in Bob's honor. CDR Ken Russell is leading the pack. I
have great memories of you and Bob. Sending warmest hugs and love - Tudy Russell
Dear Pat, I choked up today when I read the sad news of your beloved husband, CAG Bob Ferguson passing on. He was our first Airwing Commander (Carrier Air Wing 8); . He was a stately, confidant leader during our extended 1979-1980 cruise onboard USS NIMITZ (CVN 68). As an A-6 Intruder pilot, he frequently flew with us (Attack Squadron 35 (VA35) - Black Panthers) and smiled at our playful antics as junior officers. He made us feel comfortable to be competitive which was essential as we were operating in the North Arabian Gulf with no divert field. Our experience with him was so positive that many of us went on to make careers of the Navy. Please share our sincere sadness with your family. Captain Ron Stites, U.S. Navy (Ret.); Chairman of the 1979-1980 Junior Officer Cartel
I was a Dental Officer on the Coral Sea when he was CO. Great leader and nice guy. Put in a difficult situation and was the man for the hour. RIP, Skipper.
JW Kirby, CAPT, DC, USN Retired
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