Robert Michael Bates

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
11 March 1948 - 09 November 1967
Suffern, New York
Panel 29E Line 056


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Robert Michael Bates

29 Dec 2006

In memory of Bobby Bates and Jack Horton, Suffern High School class of 1966 . Your jerseys hang from the rafters in the gym at the new high school so that your memories will never be forgotten. God bless both of you - you will ALWAYS be SHS lettermen.

From a friend,
Chips Beers
P. O. Box 429, Milford, Pa

A Note from The Virtual Wall

November 1967

Dak To is located in western Kontum Province in the Vietnam Highlands - rugged mountains along the Laotian and Cambodian borders, with peaks rising to 6,000 feet. A US Special Forces camp was located there, charged with monitoring North Vietnamese Army operations in the area. In October 1967 intelligence reports indicated the 1st NVA Division (four infantry and one artillery regiments) had occupied the hills near Dak To and was preparing for attacks on Dak To and the nearby camp at Ben Het. Instead of waiting for the assault, the Allied command ordered a spoiling attack by the 4th US Infantry Division, reinforced by the 173rd Airborne Brigade and six ARVN battalions.

The battle began on 03 Nov 1967 with a clash between the 3rd Battalion, 12th US Infantry, and NVA regulars south of Dak To. Other firefights followed, and as the battle intensified 3/12th Infantry assaulted the heavily fortified Hill 1338 south of Dak To. After hard fighting, 3/12 drove the 32nd NVA Regiment from Hill 1338. After a four-day battle the ARVN 3rd and 9th Airborne Battalions cleared the NVA 24th Regiment from Hill 1416 to the northeast.

To cover their retreat the enemy committed their reserves, the 174th NVA Regiment, to a blocking position on Hill 875 to the southwest of Dak To. On 19 Nov the 2nd Battalion, 503rd US Infantry, (2/503) was ordered to take the hill, which the NVA had turned into a fortress. Stalled by the network of underground tunnels, reinforced bunkers and fortified trench lines, 2/503 was relieved on 20 Nov by the 4/503. Hill 875 was taken on Thanksgiving Day, whereupon the NVA broke contact and pulled back into sanctuaries in Laos and Cambodia. The Battle of Dak To officially ended on 01 Dec 1967.

Enemy losses were put at 1,644 killed at a cost of 289 U.S. and 73 ARVN dead. As in earlier battles, this disparity reflected the intensity of U.S. fire support - some 170,000 artillery rounds, 2,100 tac air sorties, and 228 B-52 sorties.

3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry, lost 23 men during the battle. Three of those losses were from C Company, 3/12, on 09 Nov 1967:

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Chips Beers
P. O. Box 429, Milford, Pa

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 29 Dec 2006
Last updated 01/02/2007