Bob Randall was born in 1943 in Neptune, New Jersey. He entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program on February 20, 1968, and was commissioned an Ensign in March 1969. Ens Randall next completed flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator at NAS Kingsville, Texas, in August 1969, followed by F-4 Phantom II Replacement Air Group training with VF-121 at NAS Miramar, California, from August 1969 to June 1970. He served as an F-4J pilot with VF-103 at NAS Oceana, Virginia, from June 1970 to May 1972, and then deployed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-60) from May 1972 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on July 11, 1972. After spending 262 days in captivity, LT Randall was released during Operation Homecoming on March 29, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at the U.S. Naval Hospital at Portsmouth, Virginia, and then attended fighter weapons training with VF-43 at NAS Oceana from August to September 1973. He attended F-4J Replacement Air Group training with VF-101 at NAS Oceana from September 1973 to June 1974, and then attended Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, from June 1974 to June 1975. LCDR Randall's final assignment was as a test pilot assigned to NAS Patuxent River from July 1974 until he left active duty on June 29, 1979.
His 2nd Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For meritorious service as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from July 1972 to March 1973. By his diligent efforts, exceptional leadership, devotion and loyalty to the United States, and under the most adverse of conditions, he resisted all attempts by the North Vietnamese to use him in causes detrimental to the United States. While in daily contact with the North Vietnamese guards and offers, he performed duties in staff positions, maintaining good order and discipline among the prisoners. Under constant harassment from their captors, and due to the frustrations of the prisoners during their long internment, many difficult situations arose, requiring perseverance, endurance and ingenuity. Using his extraordinary courage, resourcefulness, and sound judgment, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.