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ROBERT BRUCE MOON

Robert Bruce Moon, Date Unknown
Robert Bruce Moon, Date Unknown

Passenger Robert Bruce Moon was born March 21, 1907 in Sheridan, IL. He was a radio pioneer, seaman, aviator and avid bowler. He and his sisters Marion and Madeline were raised in Army famiIy life with their mother Jessie and father, Chaplain Faye A. Moon.

Moon flew into Tucson and signed the Register on Monday, August 9, 1926 at 11:00AM. His pilot was E.E. Aldrin, Sr. Please direct your browser to Aldrin's page to review the history of this famous pilot and father of astronaut E.E. "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr.

Based at Dayton, OH, McCook Field, Aldrin and Moon were westbound from El Paso, TX to San Diego, CA flying in a military de Havilland DH-4B, number 23-672.

There is a wonderfully improbably story that derives from the first two paragraphs. Moon's sister Marion was Aldrin's wife, whom he had married on March 22, 1924. It was just a few years later, on January 20, 1930, Aldrin and Marion became the parents of "Buzz".

His sister Madeline was the mother of contibutor Gretel Coursol, cited in the right sidebar. Besides some of the information on this page, she also contributed many wonderful images and information for Aldrin, Sr's. page.

Below, an image of Aldrin (L) with his father-in-law Faye Arnold Moon. Unfortunately, I don't have a photograph of Aldrin with Robert Moon and their airplane they brought to Tucson.

E.E. Aldrin, Sr. (L) With His Father-in-Law, Army Chaplain Faye A. Moon
E.E. Aldrin, Sr. (L) With His Father-in-Law, Army Chaplain Faye A. Moon

We can hazard a guess as to the approximate date of this image, as the black armbands are probably in mourning for President Wilson who passed away February 3, 1924. See Leslie P. Arnold's page to view a similar armband. If that is true, this photo was taken probably very close to the time of Aldrin's marriage to Moon's daughter. Note the campaign hat perched on what appears to be a machine gun protruding from the rear cockpit. Sister Madeline tells the story that E.E. Aldrin took her father Faye for a plane ride and, high in the sky, he asked him for his daughter Marion's hand in marriage.  He suggested the answer should be positive ... or Faye could get out and walk!

R.B. Moon, 1923
R.B. Moon, 1923

 

 

 

 

Robert first became interested in radio whi!e the famiIy was stationed in the Philippine Islands. He began his long radio career when he first went to sea in 1923 as a radio operator at age 16. He attended RCA radio school in Berkeley, CA and graduated from El Paso High School after his family was transferred to Ft. Bliss, TX. After graduation, Bob worked as a radio operator on board ships belonging to the Matson Company, Standard Oil and W.R. Grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below, a terrific photograph of the Aldrin-Moon family. E.E. Aldrin, Sr. and Robert Bruce Moon are at the rear. Middle row, left to right, are Marion Aldrin, grandmother Jessie R. Moon, Gretel (Sternberg) Coursol, her mother Madeline (sister of Robert), and a young Buzz Aldrin. In the front row are E.E. Aldrin's two daughters Madeline and Fay Ann.

Aldrin, Moon and Sternberg Families, Ca. 1937-38
Aldrin, Moon and Sternberg Families, Ca. 1937-38

Compare this photograph of Gretel to the one of her here. Note that her jumpsuit is the same, suggesting the two photos were taken on the same day.

During WWII, he served in North Africa as a radio instructor while working for Bendix Radio Corporation. After the war he continued with Bendix and developed radio communications systems for aircraft and the Santa Fe Railroad.

R.B. Moon With Bendix Fairchild
R.B. Moon With Bendix Fairchild

 

R.B. Moon With Bendix, Date Unknown
R.B. Moon With Bendix, Date Unknown

He earned his private pilot license while working for Bendix and logged over 2,000 hours of flight time in single and twin engine aircraft.

He married wife Audrey and they lived at Lake Gregory, CA at the Club San Moritz. A postcard view of the club interior is available here.

He moved full time to Lake Gregory in 1970 and retired at age 75. He belonged to social clubs and bowling leagues and the Ham Radio Operator's Society. He suffered from a heart condition and died April 25, 1994.

Additional images provided by Richard Moon and Gretel Coursol, below.

 

Directly elow, newlyweds Robert and Audrey Moon, February 10, 1944.  Below right, bottom to top, Robert Moon, E.E. Aldrin, Sr., and Faye A. Moon with Buzz's oldest sister, Madeline on his shoulders. Faye Moon passed away in 1928, which would date this image before that, well before Buzz was born. Compare this image with those on Aldrin's biography page linked above.

Newlyweds
Newlyweds
Bottom to Top, Robert Bruce Moon, E.E. Aldrin, Sr., Faye Arnold Moon, Baby Madeline
Bottom to Top, Robert Moon, E.E. Aldrin, Sr., Faye Arnold Moon, Baby Madeline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below, the Moon family in their Navion. Richard was born July 11, 1946, which would make the date of this photograph approximately 1949.

R.B. Moon, Audrey Moon and Son Richard, Date Unidentified
R.B. Moon, Audrey Moon and Son Richard, Date Unidentified

 

R.B. Moon and Navion, Date Unidentified
R.B. Moon and Navion, Date Unidentified

Below, Robert Bruce Moon flying as passenger with his son, Richard, ca. 1993, about 67 years after he landed at Tucson with E.E. Aldrin, Sr.

Robert Bruce Moon, A Passenger Again
Robert Bruce Moon, A Passenger Again

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UPLOADED: 04/10/09 REVISED:

 
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CREDITS

Thanks to Richard Moon, son of Robert Bruce Moon, and Gretel Coursol, niece.

Ms. Coursol is at once the niece of passenger Moon (her mother is Moon's sister), and niece-in-law of pilot Aldrin (her mother's sister is Aldrin's wife Marion). She and Richard Moon are also first cousins to Buzz Aldrin.

 
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