Robert Charles Schell, Jr

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
28 September 1946 - 24 August 1969
Horseheads, New York
Panel 19W Line 109



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign


The database page for Robert Charles Schell, Jr

02 Jun 2003

Robert, I believe we met on the battle field. I was a combat photographer for the Green Beret Magazine during the combat action in which you were killed. It has now been over thirty years and I apologize for not having mentioned your name in the story I wrote regarding that combat action in which the 3rd Mobile Strike Force was in combat with the 5th NVA division near A-343 Duc Phong.

I will always remember you as a young soldier.

For Robert's family, friend and comrades at arms ... I have attached a few pictures from that combat action in which Robert gave his life...

Phil Gonzales
combat photographer,
Green Beret Magazine 69-71

The face of combat:
An unidentified American advisor at Duc Phong.
Click HERE for Mr. Gonzales' photographs of the fighting at Duc Phong, Aug/Sep 1969.
4 May 2004

Robert, I remember our time together at the Advanced Engineering Course at Fort Belvoir, during the spring before we went to Vietnam. You, Kivlin, Jeff Hilton, and Dale Evans were all in that class. We had that safe house with those CIA secretaries in it!!! We had a great time. Pete and I are getting together for the first time since we came home almost 34 years ago. We were SPECIAL!

From a friend,
David Kirkwood
Detactment A-415, 5th SFGA, 1st SF
19 Aug 69-18 Aug 70

12 Oct 2004

Bobby Schell, where did you go, brother?
I have thought of you often.

We had some great times at Bragg and Belvoir, most of all I recall your big happy smiley face when I bumped into you in Nha Trang. After that I didn't know where you went until I got to B-36 a week or two after you. The news at B-36 was terribly sad for me.

Kirkwood brought me to this place, I came here with a great deal of personal reservation. I never really wanted to see a place like this but I guess it is time. Anybody who knew Bobby could never forget him, quite a character, him!! Dave said you have a sister. I would like to tell her that Bobby is always close in my heart.

Peter Kivlin Sgt.
Det. B-36 5 SFG Abn.
United States Army RVN
Aug 69 - Aug70

10 Nov 2006

Bobby, I went to our 25th high school reunion in 1990. While going to the cemetery to pay my respects to someone else, I saw your grave marker ... I was so saddened to see you had been killed in Vietnam. I was your classmate from elementary school until our graduation in 1965, sitting near you over the years because of my last name, Shick. I was so envious of your physical strength and athletic ability, lettering in all sports. It didn't surprise me to know you volunteered for Special Forces. We grow up thinking super heros never die, only to find out, in real life, they sometimes do. Our best and brightest often die in combat while cowards like Ted Kennedy live forever. So unfair... I was also in Vietnam with the 1st Inf Div in 1967-68 and was fortunate enough to make it back... Until we meet again - rest in peace, bro..!

From a classmate and fellow Vietnam vet,
Rob Shick

24 Nov 2006

I'm a schoolmate of Bob's... from 3rd grade until our graduation in 1965. What a jock, he really had the hard work ethic, lettering in every sport. We were envious of his great build ... and always smiling. I made it back from Vietnam in '68 ... I wish Bob would have. He could have made the world a better place.

Rob Shick
10444 Healy Street, Santee, Ca. 92071

09 Jul 2007

Dear Bob,

From '62-'65 you played center next to Gerry Austin, Keith Purdue, Jon Rowe (lots of others), and me. I went off to college and you went off to war. 42 years later, you and your face are as clear to me as anyone in my life. One game stands out, when our second-string quarterback ran a "waggle" for a touchdown from about the 50. Coach Tom "Give 'em a shot" Skidmore missed seeing the touchdown because he was transfixed, watching you knock the daylight out of a defensive end, back at the line of scrimmage. He was so happy with you he was crying.

Most of all, I remember your courage. You took punishment like nobody I have ever met. In my 25 years in the Army I never got close to war, and I know that for everyone like me there is someone like you who took their bullet. Often I think your courage probably helped a lot of soldiers, and may have killed you. Many thanks.

You died the day after my marriage.

Ken Haynes
Colonel (retired), U.S. Army
Horseheads, 1965

31 Mar 2008

Bobby is my cousin on my step-father's side of the family, and he is the reason I entered the Air Force in 1968. When he came home on leave after his first trip to Viet Nam we played a prank on him not knowing what he had experienced. His sister Judy and I set off an M-80 firecracker outside the kitchen window and were totally surprised when he came flying through the window looking for the culprits. He scared the crap out of us! I am retiring from the Air Force Reserve in Jan 09 and have had a wonderful career. I've served in Texas, New York, England, Kosovo, Macedonia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Qutar, and Germany all because of him!

From a cousin,
CMSgt John E. Shroyer

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 24 Aug 1969 the 3rd Mobile Strike Force Command made a combat insertion into an area about 7 kilometers north of the Duc Phong Special Forces camp. The landing area turned out to be infested with enemy troops, and the 3rd MSFC troops were heavily engaged the moment they arrived. Two US soldiers died as a result of the action: Special Forces advisor SP4 Robert C. Schell killed in action and artillery forward observer 2LT Thomas J. Dostal (D Btry 2/13 Arty) fatally wounded.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 02 Jun 2003
Last updated 08/10/2009