Robert Franklin Overmyer, a Colonel in the United States Marine Corps (Retired), was born on July 14, 1936 in Loraine, Ohio, and considered Westlake, Ohio his hometown. His hobbies included skiing, water skiing, boating, acrobatic flying in open cockpit biplanes, coaching baseball, and running. He was a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Experimental Aircraft Association, and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
Overmyer died on March 22, 1996 in Duluth, Minnesota in the crash of an experimental civilian light aircraft he was test piloting for Cirrus Design Corporation. (Cirrus VK30 experimental N44VK)
- Pilot, STS-5, Columbia, November 11-16, 1982, first operational shuttle flight, two satellites deployed
- Commander, STS-51B, Challenger, Spacelab 3, April 29-May 6, 1985
Total Hours in Space: 290+
Astronaut Groups: USAF Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) program Group 2-June 30, 1966, NASA Group 7-August 14, 1969
Degrees: BS, Physics, Baldwin Wallace College in 1958. MS, Aeronautics with a major in Aeronautical Engineering, U. S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1964; awarded an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree from Baldwin Wallace College, December 1982.
Military Service & Awards: He served in Vietnam. Awarded the USAF Meritorious Service Medal in 1969 for duties with the USAF Manned Orbiting Laboratory Program; awarded the USMC Meritorious Service Medal in 1978 for duties as the Chief Chase Pilot and support crewman for the Shuttle Approach and Landing Test Program, awarded the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School Distinguished Engineers Award, January 1983; the USMC Distinguished Flying Cross (1983); and the NASA Space Flight Medal (1983).
Interred at Arlington National Cemetery: May 20, 1996
How to locate: Located just southwest of the mast of the U.S.S. Maine near the Memorial Amphitheater. The closest road is Lawton Drive.