A native of West Springfield, Massachusetts, Robert ‘Bob’ Anthony Breglio was touched early by military service. While his father and uncle served overseas during WWII, Bob’s daily job was hanging two silver star banners for family members in service. Bob enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1961, rating as a Machinery Repairman, and earned an engineering degree from Western New England College. He married his wife, Donna, in 1966 and was commissioned Ensign in 1967. First assigned to Patrol Squadron 48, he deployed to Adak, Iwakuni, Sangley Point, and Cam Ranh Bay as a Maintenance Officer.
Returning from Vietnam, Lieutenant Breglio joined VS21, the first operational S-3 Viking Anti-Submarine Warfare Squadron and deployed to the Mediterranean onboard USS John F. Kennedy. On the night of November 22, 1975, in heavy seas off the coast of Sicily, the Kennedy collided with USS Belknap. The Belknap, wedged under the angled flight deck, burned fiercely as jet fuel rained down. Lieutenant Breglio’s general quarters were at the point of collision and he led the firefighting team in preventing further damage to the Kennedy. He received the Navy Achievement Medal for his actions.
Bob earned a master’s degree at the Air Force Institute of Technology and then served at the Naval Air Systems Command and on Secretary of Defense staff in Washington D.C. Commander Breglio and his family moved to Coronado in 1980, where he served on the USS Kitty Hawk as Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department Head. In 1984, he transferred to the staff, COMNAVAIRPAC, serving as the Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Plans and Policy Officer.
In 1987, CAPT Breglio became the Navy Plant representative for the Tomahawk Missile Program at General Dynamics. Retiring in 1991, Bob provided engineering project support for various naval aviation systems.
Bob served on the Coronado Parks & Recreation Commission and led the annual ‘letters to the troops’ program. While President of the Silver Strand Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, he advocated for Coronado and Mar Vista High Schools’ NJROTC programs. He is currently a volunteer docent at the USS Midway Museum.
Captain Breglio and Donna raised two Coronado High School graduates, Robert and William, and together they have four grandchildren.