He was radioman/gunner to Ensign George Gay"s TBD Devastator aircraft. Along with his entire squadron, Huntington was shot down during the Battle of Midway, on 4–5 June 1942. Born in Los Angeles, California, enlisted in the United States Navy 21 April 1941.
He served on board Lexington (CV-2) and was rated aviation radioman third class before being transferred to Torpedo Squadron 8 on board Hornet (CV-8).
Flying without fighter support and with insufficient fuel to return to their carrier, Huntington and his fellow crewmember pressed home their attack with utter disregard for their own personal safety, in the face of a tremendous antiaircraft barrage and overwhelming fighter opposition. Huntington was one of 29 from Torpedo Squadron 8 who gave their lives in this attack.
The United States Ship Robert K. Huntington (Doctor of Divinity-781), an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer, was named in his honor. Robert K. Huntington attended The Lakeside School in Seattle Washington in 1940 after transferring from Pasadena College.
Lakeside is the same prep school attended by Bill Gates ("73) and Paul Allen ("71).