Robert Noel Forman was born in Gadsden, Alabama, on July 22, 1915, son of James R. and Mary Ann (Stillman) Forman. He attended Gadsden High School and on June 14, 1934 enlisted in the US Navy at Birmingham, Alabama. Following recruit training, he had consecutive duty afloat in the USS Chester, USS Fulton and USS Sperry, advancing progressively from Seaman to Chief Fire Controlman. He was commissioned Ensign, US Navy on July 15, 1943 and after receiving periodic promotions, attained the rank of Commander, to date from August 1, 1958.
He was serving in USS Sperry when he received his commission in 1943 and remained on board that submarine tender until October 1944. He next had fitting out duty in USS Sarpedon at the Maryland Dry Dock Company, Baltimore, Maryland, and joined that repair ship as Gunnery Officer (later served as Executive Officer), when she was commissioned, March 20, 1945. In January 1947 he reported as Gunnery Officer of the USS General A. E. Anderson and in September of that year was detached and assigned to the Underway Training Unit, San Diego, California.
In July 1950 he joined the staff of Commander Service Force, US Pacific Fleet as Assistant Fleet Ammunition Officer and in February 1953 returned to the United States for duty as Assistant Repair Superintendent for Ordnance at the Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) Naval Shipyard. He remained there until April 1955, after which he was in command of the Military Department, Military Sea Transportation Service Transports, MSTS, Atlantic Area, He served as Ordnance Officer at the Naval Ammunition Depot, Concord, California), from July 1957 until January 1959, and is now Officer in Charge of the Naval Ordnance Facility, Sasebo, Japan.
Commander Forman has the American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp; China Service Medal; and National Defense Service Medal.