Bob Worthington was born on May 20, 1933, in Marshfield, Oregon. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on September 30, 1950, and completed basic training at NTC San Diego, California, in November 1950. Worthington next attended Hospital Corpsman School at San Diego from November 1950 to February 1951, followed by service aboard the aircraft carrier USS Antietam (CV-36) from February to December 1951. During this time he was aboard the Antietam for combat during the Korean War from October to December 1951. He attended the Marine Corps Field Medical Training Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California, from December 1951 to April 1952, and then served with the 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division in combat in Korea from April to June 1952. Petty Officer Worthington transferred to the 1st Shore Party Battalion of the 1st Marine Division in June 1952, and served as a Corpsman with that unit until transferring to the 4th Marine Regiment of the 3rd Marine Division in March 1953. He returned to the United States in September 1953, and then attended additional medical training at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, from September to December 1953. His next assignment was as a Hospital Corpsman at the National Naval Medical Center (now Walter Reed) in Bethesda, Maryland, from December 1953 to June 1954, followed by service as a Corpsman with Company F, Headquarters Battalion at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, from June 1954 to June 1955. Petty Officer Worthington completed additional medical training at the National Naval Medical Center and at the U.S. Naval Hospital at Bainbridge, Maryland, from June 1955 to June 1956, and then served as a Hospital Corpsman at U.S. Naval Air Station Agana, Guam, from June 1956 to May 1959. He then served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La (CV-38) from May 1959 to May 1960, followed by service at Naval Air Station Alameda, California, from May 1960 to March 1961. Petty Officer Worthington attended Submarine School at Submarine Base New London, Connecticut, from March to October 1961, and then served aboard the submarine USS Segundo (SS-398) from October to December 1961. His next assignment was aboard the submarine USS Menhaden (SS-377) from December 1961 to November 1962, followed by additional medical training at the U.S. Naval Hospital at San Diego from November 1962 to January 1963, and additional submarine training at New London from January to April 1963. He served aboard the submarine tender USS Sperry (AS-12) in May and June 1963, and then served aboard the nuclear submarine USS Permit (SSN-594) from June 1963 to March 1965. His next assignment was with Submarine Squadron THREE, Pacific Fleet, from March to May 1965, and then as a Hospital Corpsman at Naval Station Treasure Island, California, from June 1965 to August 1967. Petty Officer Worthington next served aboard the submarine tender USS Orion (AS-18) from September 1967 to July 1968, and then with Underwater Demolition Team THIRTEEN (UDT-13) at NAB Coronado, California, from August 1968 to February 1969. Chief Worthington deployed with Golf Platoon, UDT-13, to Southeast Asia in February 1969, and he was killed in action in South Vietnam on April 12, 1969. Bob Worthington was buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California.
His Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For meritorious service in connection with operations against the enemy while attached to Underwater Demolition Team THIRTEEN, Detachment GOLF, in support of Operations SILENT SENTINEL and SEA LORDS on the Cau Mau Peninsula, Republic of Vietnam from 25 February to 12 April 1969. During Operation SILENT SENTINEL, Chief Petty Officer WORTHINGTON continuously distinguished himself through his extensive knowledge of explosive and booby-trapping devices and competence as a hospital corpsman. His untiring support significantly contributed to curtailing enemy troop and supply infiltration from Cambodia. Upon completion of Operation SILENT SENTINEL, Chief Petty Officer WORTHINGTON participated in twelve Operation SEA LORDS missions and engaged the enemy on five occasions. During those missions, he assisted in the destruction of over one hundred and fifty enemy bunkers, ten enemy water barricades and numerous enemy sampans, structures and auxiliary targets, thereby severely hampering the enemy's war effort in the Cau Mau Peninsula. On two occasions, Chief Petty Officer WORTHINGTON disregarded his own safety and went to the rescue of wounded personnel under enemy fire. His courage and professional knowledge were further reflected as he assisted in the removal of a one hundred fifty pound command-detonated mining device from the Song Bay Hap River. On 12 April 1969, he was aboard Inshore Patrol Craft 43 which was transiting the Rach Duong Keo River when suddenly intense enemy weapons fire was received. During the enemy attack, Petty Officer WORTHINGTON was critically wounded. His devotion to duty, courage under fire and outstanding professionalism reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
The Combat "V" is authorized.