Good bye, WWII Vet and Actor Bob Hastings! (1925-2014)

Best known for his role as the clumsy Lt. Elroy Carpenter in the 1960s TV sitcom McHale’s Navy, actor and real WWII vet Bob Hastings – born Robert Francis Hastings – passed away last June 30, Monday, in Burbank, California at the old age of 89.

Bob Hastings had been contending with prostrate cancer and finally succumbed to the said illness according to his granddaughter, Allison Knowles.

Born Robert Francis Hastings in April 18, 1925 in Brooklyn, Bob Hastings started his career by starring in radio dramas at the tender age of 11. When WWII broke out, he signed up for the United States Army Air Corps. Bob Hastings served as a navigator on B-29s throughout the war.

After the war ended, Bob Hastings returned to his former career serving as the voice of the popular comic character Archie Andrews in a radio series based on the famous comic books Archie.

When television was born, Bob Hastings tried his hand on it eventually winning a role in Captain Video and His Video Rangers in 1949.

Bob Hastings starred in two military sitcoms all throughout his career as a TV personality. Aside from McHale’s Navy which ran from 1960 to 1966 and was centered on a misfit PT boat crew involved in the South Pacific theater during the Second World War, Bob Hastings also starred in The Phil Silvers Show shown in the late 1950s and was initially set in a Kansas army base.

Bob Hastings went on to be part of some of the most popular TV shows in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Some of the vintage TV dramas he was involved in including The Twilight Zone, Murder, She Wrote and the daytime drama General Hospital.

Bob Hastings also provided the voices for several animated cartoons like Batman: The Animated Series as the voice of Commissioner Jim Gordon as well as several other spinoffs in the animated universe of DC Comics. He also lent his voice in the 2010 video game Mafia II.

Bob Hastings is survived by his wife of 66 years, former Joan Rice, their four children, one brother, ten grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.

Goodbye, WWII vet and TV actor Bob Hastings!

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE