Lt. Col. Bob Goebel, USAF (ret), left this life surrounded by family on Sunday, February 20, at his home in Torrance, where he has resided for almost 50 years. Born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin, he joins his loving wife, June (Meany) Goebel, also of Racine, who has been with the Lord since March 2006. Col. Goebel joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 at the age of 19. As a young fighter pilot in WWII he was stationed in San Severo, Italy with the 308th Fighter Squadron, where he distinguished himself in combat flying the P-51 Mustang. He was credited with eleven victories, earning the status of "double ace," and was 21 years old at the end of his combat tour. After retiring from the military, Col. Goebel worked as a quality control engineer in the aerospace industry in California. In 2003 he was inducted into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame. He is also the author of the book Mustang Ace. Col. Goebel is survived by his nine children: son Gary of Maple Valley WA, daughter Suzanne Rechs of Grass Valley CA, son Robert Jr. of Seattle WA, daughter Patricia Arritt of Priest River ID, daughter Therese Silveria of Yuba City CA, daughter Thomasine Goebel of Long Beach CA, son Mark of Moreno Valley CA, son James of Torrance CA, and daughter Karen Satterlee of Auburn CA. He is also survived by 27 grandchildren and 37 great grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, February 24 at 1:00pm at St. Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church, 1900 So. Prospect Ave in Redondo Beach.

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  1. It is not often in life when you get a chance to meet a childhood hero, let alone having the privilege to call him a friend. I will forever be blessed in having Bob as friend. My deepest condolences to the Goebel Family. You will be missed “Little Friend”. God Speed Flying Dutchman!

  2. I was honored to meet Lt Col Goebel when I was roughly 14 years old. I was learning to fly and dreamed of flying for the Air Force. He took time to talk with me, support me, and encourage me. I look back on the times I spent with him with fond memories. I will be with you in thought as you celebrate this great man. Here’s a toast… (AF Song, 3rd verse)

  3. I met Bob thru rehab (LCM) & had many hrs. of conversation about the R/R trips and WWII and his book, I’ve a signed copy. To repay him I worked it out and got him and June a ride on the blimp, which they really enjoyed. Will always remember what a fine man he was.

  4. A kind and wonderful, man, friend and American. They don’t come any better than Robert Goebel. He distinguised himself in his service to his country. He was a wonderful family man and a friend to so many. He was a soft spoken, humble and kind man. He could tell a story quite well but he could write a story as profoundly intriguing as any author out there. I was blessed to have the opportunity to meet him on more than one occasion. He and people like him – that approach life in the manner that he did – are the reason this country has become as great as it is. Current and future generations could learn a lot in getting to know the likes of Robert Goebel and people like him. I will never forget him.

  5. It has been my privilege to work with one of Robert Goebel’s grandchildren (Mia Adams), the last few years at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma. He was a truly remarkable man and lived a remarkable life; I regret never having the opportunity to meet him in person, he was a true hero, but I would have told him that his best legacy was his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. May the Lord bless him and keep him.

  6. Cindy and I share in your sorrow very much. The tears that are shed, are a measure of the love that was given with joy by your parents. I think of some of the stories my dad told me about Uncle Bob and him in Racine when they looked after each other. Cindy and I will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers, and we will always remember your parents. I’m sure Uncle Bob has got a new set of wings to fly with now.May he rest in peace, and the Good Lord comfort you. Love Matt & Cindy

  7. As a young AF Captain assigned to him, Col Goebel gave me incredible valuable guidance, flying stories, and friendship. I have treasured time spent with him. He was truly a national treasure as a pilot, officer and individual. May there be more like him.

  8. To the Goebel family… I was so very sorry to hear about the passing of your father. I only met him a few times at fighter aces symposiums, but he was always very nice to me and always told me a funny joke. He even brought me a picture once just for me. That meant alot. I’ll miss him alot in the future. He was a great airman and father.

  9. I met Bob many times at the Fighter Aces convention. We had many good conversations. As the Historian for the American Fighter Aces Association I wish to express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Frank Olynyk.

  10. Sadly I never had the honor of meeting Bob, but I learnt a small bit about him from reading his fantastic book, and also through exchanging a few e-mails with Bob, when I bought his book. I will allways admire his gallantry. My heartfelt condolences to his family, from an huge admirer in Denmark

  11. Mr. Goebel was a faithful donor to The Passionist Missionaries in NJ. I had the pleasure of speaking with him from time to time and wrote him regularly to acknowledge his generosity. I found him to be a gentle and generous man. May our Gracious God welcome him to Paradise and eternal rest.

  12. I am very saddened to learn of Robert’s passing. I had the pleasure of meeting him and his wife at the Torrance Air Fair many years back. I bought his book and had him sign it. It was very enjoyable to read and I found him to be a very kind and gracious man. May God’s grace be upon the very large family he leaves behind.

  13. I am sorry to hear of Mr Goebel’s passing. I have his Mustang Ace book, personally signed by him from the year 2000. He was a great man in my view, soon all of the greatest generation will leave us. Heaven Help Us!

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