Robert's military career was focused on testing the fighter aircraft that became the frontline of American Air Power for more than two decades.
Robert “Fox” Stephens was born in Gilmer, Texas, and graduated from Texas A&M University. One of the premier test pilots in aviation history, Stephens was the first military pilot to fly the YF-12A interceptor and the famed SR-71 Blackbird, the Air Force’s then-secret titanium-skinned spy plane. Nicknamed the “Silver Fox” for his prematurely grey hair, he began his military career flying P-47 Thunderbolts during World War II. After the war, he was chosen to attend the Air Force’s Experimental Test Pilot School. In 1965 he was part of the team awarded the Mackay Trophy when the YF-12A he was flying set nine speed and altitude records. Stevens Field in his hometown of Gilmer, Texas, is named in his honor.