In addition to all of this, he also participated in the Couples Night Out show at the Naval Yard each year with my aunt and loved hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her. They have been married for 51 years.
Born in San Francisco, California, Rear Admiral Ailes attended public schools in Virginia, Washington, D. C., California, Pennsylvania, Hawaii and Rhode Island. He attended the United States Naval Academy graduating and being commissioned on 7 June 1957.
Sea assignments include duty as CIC officer on the USS WILLARD KEITH (DD 775), as Operations Officer of the USS CONYNGHAM (DDG 17) and Commanding Officer of the USS HAMMERBERG (DE 1015) and USS VIRGINIA (CGN 38) in the U. S. Atlantic Fleet; and Executive Officer of the USS LONG BEACH (CGN 9) and USS SOMERS (DDG 34), Commanding Officer of the USS BROOKE (FFG 1) in the U. S. Pacific Fleet. In addition, Rear Admiral Ailes served as Operations Officer on the Staff of Destroyer-Division 222.
Shore assignments include postgraduate education at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, California, where Rear Admiral Ailes received a Masters Degree in Operations Analysis; Nuclear Engineering Training at Bainbridge, Maryland, and West Milton, New York; duty as Commanding Officer and Director of the Officer Department of the U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School at Mare Island, California; duty in Washington as the Director of the Naval Forces Division in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Analysis, Director of the Anti-Air Warfare Division in the Office of the Director for Naval Warfare and Director, Surface Combat Systems Division in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Surface Warfare. Rear Admiral Ailes was also Deputy Commander for Weapons and Combat Systems of the Naval Sea Systems Command as well as Commander, Space and Naval Warfare Sea Systems Command and served for 35 years in the United States Navy.
He was also on the faculty of George Mason University
Rear Admiral Ailes is the son of Rear Admiral and Mrs. John W. Ailes of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is married to the former Clara Swift of Arlington, Virginia. They have two children: Susan and Lynn and six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
LATER: Tonight we got out a lot of old pictures. Uncle Bob and Aunt Clara actually met in Junior High School in Arlington, Virginia, and later were classmates at the old Western High School in Washington, D.C. where my own parents also met in 10th grade. Looking at the pictures was like looking at American 20th century history, all rolled up into one family.
Tonight, as I remember Uncle Bob I remember his love for the Navy, passed down from his father and continues to own children, nephews and in another few weeks, his own grandson as well. Tomorrow is the Army/Navy Game, which for many years was an annual event in my family. I am sad he will miss the game - we were talking about only a few days ago - but I am grateful that he lived and not only is my family for better for it, so is my country.
UPDATE: My young cousin, Uncle Bob's grandson, wrote this on his Facebook page, "R.I.P Robert Ailes, December 11, 2009. To a brilliant and caring friend, mentor, and above all grandfather that i will always look up to, and keep in my heart." It's so interesting to connect as family on Facebook as we remember Uncle Bob, grandfather, brother, and friend.