Robert Allen Anspach
Master Sergeant
DET A-401 (4TH MSFC), D CO, 5TH SF GROUP, USARV
Army of the United States
Macon, Missouri
October 01, 1933 to September 11, 1967
ROBERT A ANSPACH is on the Wall at Panel 31E, Line 79

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Robert A Anspach
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18 May 2004

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Robert, it has been such a long time since you left us. The family members that knew and loved you are growing old or are gone now but you were never forgotten and were spoken of often while I was growing up. You were my Uncle Howard's stepson but were always treated as one of the Brant family. My grandmother was always telling me about you. I feel she feared that you would be forgotten by the younger family members but I have not forgotten you or your sacrifice to us and your country. I know you left a wife and children and have always wanted to meet them so I can thank them all and let them know we - the Brants and their families - never forgot Robert and loved him very much. While doing some research I spoke to my Uncle John about you - he is in his upper 80s now and it still brought a tear to his eye to speak of you. Yes, you are still missed and always will be. I have told your story to my two sons and they will ensure you're not forgotten. They say time heals all wounds but it leaves a hell of a scar. I would love to hear from your wife, kids, or someone who served with Robert.

Rest easy, green beret. Semper Fi.

Rich Butler
Pittsfield, Illinois
dbutler62@pikenet.net


 
20 Jul 2005

I have his bracelet.



23 Jul 2005

I have finally found Robert's daughter.
I am thrilled to have found Cindy, and to be able to talk to her.

I have his bracelet.

From
Dyan Brooke
ladydy-fashions@sbcglobal.net


 

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The general terrain and considerable flooding during the monsoon seasons encouraged the use of small craft in patrolling the Mekong Delta areas all the way up to the Cambodian border. Army Special Forces units, working with the Navy, developed an ability to use "air boats" for this purpose, and by early 1967 the 4th Mobile Strike Force Command at Detachment 401 (Don Phuc) was able to deploy the boats and troops in sections of 6 boats.

In early September 1966 two sections of boats, and the necessary 4th MSFC troops (indigents trained and led by the Special Forces soldiers), deployed from Don Phuc to a forward operating base with Detachment A-426 at Thuong Thoi.

At 0830, 11 Sep 1967, six airboats departed Thuong Thoi on a reconnaissance mission up-river with each boat carrying four Mike Force soldiers. The recon force was commanded by Captain Thomas A. Culp in Boat 3, with MSgt Robert A. Anspach in Boat 1 and MSgt James W. Lewis bringing up the rear in Boat 6. As the boats entered the Mekong River at the Cambodian border they were taken under heavy fire from fortified positions on both river banks. MSgt Anspach was killed at once and the other two Americans wounded shortly thereafter. Rather than run the gauntlet, the boats attempted to circle back - an act that kept them in the killing zone. In less than two minutes, Boat 2 had been sunk, Boats 1 and 5 were captured, Boats 4 and 6 immobilized - only Boat 3 was still in operation, and by this time Captain Culp had been hit again and killed. MSgt Lewis, in the immobilized Boat 6, maintained radio contact with base until he passed out.

The second boat section was underway immediately, was able to link up with Boat 3, and under cover of air support was able to re-enter the killing zone. Boat 5 and the bunkers on the Vietnam side were destroyed by air strikes; Boats 2, 4, and 6 were recovered; and the surviving members of the first section retrieved. When the dust settled, only Boat 1 and MSgt Anspach's body were unaccounted for.

MSgt Anspach was classed as Killed in Action/Body not Recovered. His remains have not been repatriated.


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