Major (Ret’d) Alan Marwood Robb

December 14, 1928 – September 24, 2021
In Loving Memory ~ Major (Ret’d) Alan (Al) Robb passed away on September 24th, 2021 after a summer of declining health. His loving wife Shirley, of 63 years and wonderful daughters Gail, Cathy and Heather were by his side.
Al was predeceased by his parents, Dr. William D.D.S. and Mrs. Hilda Robb, and sisters Dorothy and Betty.
He leaves behind his son Douglas (Susan) in Perth Australia, Gail in Vancouver, Cathy (Robert) in Victoria, Heather (Art) in Campbell River and ten grandchildren, Jacquelyn, Corey (Karen), Brendan, Molly, Richard, Sarah (Hayden), Christopher (Amelia), Julia (Carl), Levi, Adin, and one great-grandchild Indie. He also leaves behind nephews Robb (Lise), John (Susan), Chris (Ann), Richard (Annie), and nieces Barbara (Gerry) and Shirley (Howie).
Al grew up in Winnipeg, MB and attended Kelvin High School. He was active in sports and was an accomplished equestrian champion. After two years of studies at the University of Manitoba, he changed his career path and joined the RCAF in December 1949. Al did his pilot training on Harvard’s in Centralia, the twin-engine Expeditor and the Vampire jet in Chatham, NB. After receiving his pilot wings, Al joined 410 Squadron in Dorval, QC in 1951 to fly the venerable F-86 Sabre aircraft. On
October 29th of that year, the Squadron (aircrew and jets) sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on the H.M.C.S. Magnificent to
Renfrew, Scotland, arriving on November 14th. After disembarking, the F-86’s were flown to Royal Air Force (RAF) Station North
Luffenham in England. This was the first Canadian squadron to arrive in Europe after World War 2.
410 Squadron later formed the first Canadian F-86 Sabre aerobatic team, Al was asked to join the team he took up the left wing
position. The team performed exceptionally well and was soon recognized for its skill and professionalism in both England and
Holland. It was subsequently asked on many occasions to perform in air shows and Battle of Britain ceremonies over London
and elsewhere in both countries. In January 1954, Al was transferred to Zweibrucken, Germany to the Instrument Rating Flight
where he instructed on the T-33 aircraft until the end of his first European tour.
Al returned to Chatham in November 1954 to be an instructor on the F-86 Sabre. During his tour there, he was awarded a
pilot’s “Commendatory Endorsement for Exceptional Leadership” for saving one of his students and the F-86 aircraft due to a
flameout. In November 1956, Al was posted was to Foymount, a Radar Station on the Pine Tree Line near Pembroke, ON. Al
was the Chief Administrative Officer for the Radar Station, but maintained his flying currency through monthly trips on T-33’s
in Ottawa. A few low passes and rolls over Foymount were in order on completion of his trips, to the joy of all watching from
below and a signal to Shirley that he would soon be driving home.
Al returned to full-time flying duties in 1961, first training on the CF-100 Canuck and the CF-101 Voodoo in Bagotville, QC
and then being posted to 416 Lynx Squadron in Chatham, NB as a combat-ready Voodoo pilot. In Chatham, he was a natural
selection to be the Squadron’s first aerobatic Team Leader on the Voodoo, doing what he loved most – flying air shows and
aerobatics – when not holding alert.
In July 1964, Al and his family were posted back to Europe for an exchange tour in England with the Royal Air Force’s “Fighter
Command and Trials Unit” at Binbrook, Lincolnshire. There he flew both the Hunter and Lightning aircraft with the Fighting
Development Squadron, which consisted of four RAF pilots, two US Air Force pilots and one Canadian pilot – Al. On this
unique posting, he contributed significantly to UK weapons testing and missile development (Red Top missiles), routinely
flying at supersonic speeds over the Irish Sea and sometimes with RAF Vulcan bomber affiliation. In July 1967, Al returned to
Canada to serve for the next four years at the NORAD HQ site at North Bay, ON.
For his final tour in uniform, Al was posted to CFB Comox, BC in 1971 where he served with 409 Squadron as the CF-101 Voodoo
test pilot and as the Base Flight Safety Officer until his retirement in 1976. The Robb’s were active members of the Officers’
Mess throughout his tour, during which he was the President of the Mess Committee in 1974. Continuing his association with
and after his retirement as an Associate member, Al held the distinction of being the longest serving member of the Comox
Officers’ Mess (50 years) prior to his passing, and never missed a function.
Following his retirement after a full, rewarding and distinguished career in the RCAF, Al spent 13 years as a Real Estate agent
with Block Brothers Real Estate Company in Comox. He was also an active member of the community, serving with the Comox
Rotary Club as both a member and as President in 1981.
Al will always be remembered as a kind, gentle, genuine and intelligent soul, who lived a rich life full of love, laughter and
social gatherings. He was one of life’s great listeners, and was active in golfing, fishing, gardening, and family camping trips as
well as boating trips to Tree Island with family & friends. Most importantly, he was a family man and a role model for his four
children, grandchildren and great-granddaughter. He was extremely proud of them all, and always took great interest in their
many accomplishments over the years. He loved his wife of 63 years dearly and treasured their adventures and travels around
the globe over the years, whether by car, plane, train, bus or ship.
Al received many visits from family & friends during his final days with us, including FaceTime calls from his son Doug and
family in Australia and all his grandchildren. Al also received salutary fly-pasts from Cormorant Search and Rescue helicopters
from 19 Wing Comox and a privately-owned Vans RV-6. In addition, his wife Shirley and their three daughters were with Al in
Hospice throughout his stay and all lovingly bid him a final farewell when he left us.
Many thanks to our wonderful, devoted and supportive group of friends who were always there when needed, who stood by
us by either gathering at our home or visiting Al at the Hospice during his final days. We are also very grateful to the Home
and Community Care professionals who provided Al with the support so necessary during his final days at home, and to the
caring and unwaveringly compassionate Hospice Team at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox. Finally, a big thank you to Dr. Nap
and his staff for their care over the years.
May Al rest in eternal peace.

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