Robert Laurence Shafer

United States Marine Corps
12 July 1944 - 04 February 1967
Windsor, Illinois
Panel 14E Line 119


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Robert Laurence Shafer

31 May 1999


03 Jun 2005

We all should still be little kids, wondering what we
might do with our lives. Bobby, you are still a little
boy on one side of my heart, and a young man who died
serving his country on the other side.

You have been remembered in my house every birthday, and
talking about you with other veterans. I get e-mails and
letters telling me how much they thought of you.

I love you and your family very much.

16 Jun 2005

I am Robert's first cousin and I would love to get in
touch with anybody who served with him.

Sajona Weaver

22 Mar 2007

Hello Bobby, this is your cousin Sajona Goodwin-Weaver. I have had so many thoughts of you this past year. A few wonderful letters and photos have been sent to me regarding you and your friend(s) in Vietnam.

I am writing this as though you are here in person, and sometimes, I feel you are right here with me. We all still miss and love you. Bobby, today, I will light one more candle in your memorial and for your family. I love you, young cousin. Sajona

15 Aug 2007

August 15, 2007 The moving Vietnam Wall came to our small town this summer. I took my grandchildren ages, 10, 17 to experience something they have only read and heard about. We found Bobby and three of his combat friend's names on the Wall. No matter how many times I see this Wall the feelings are the same. The children showed great respect to my fallen cousin with tears for someone they never knew except through my eyes and my stories of him.

Bobby, you and your combat friends have earned your place on this Wall; now my grandchildren really understand what this Wall means to their grandmother. I wish you were here, Bobby, with your friends. We still miss you and remember you more than you would ever know.

I still hear from a few who knew you or of your company. If there are still those who may have photos of Bobby or his friends please feel free to contact me. Love you always, Sajona

From his first cousin,
Sajona Weaver

January 2008. A new year to remember you once again. Your family continues to keep you in our hearts. If only we could be together one more time. With all my love - Sajona

From his first cousin,
Sajona Weaver
4105 Eckworth Drive, Bellbrook, Ohio 45305
22 Oct 2004

I knew you as Bobby. You were four years older than me. I grew up with your younger brothers Larry and Terry and your sister Becky. I will always remember my mother coming down the basement stairs that afternoon telling me you were gone. I have often thought of you over the years.

From a former resident of Windsor, Illinois,
Richard L. Minor

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Sergeant Robert Starbuck was the team leader of a recon team from 2nd Plt, A/1st Recon, inserted near the abandoned village of Sa Khom on a mountain top about 10 kilometers southwest of the Duc Pho airfield. The body of the post-patrol report contained in the 1st Recon Bn's Feb 1967 Command Chronology follows [editorial comments in brackets]:

1. Size and Composition: 11 Enlisted.

2. Mission: Establish an OP [Observation Post] vicinity BS7533.  Primary
direction of observation to southeast.

3. Time of Departure: 031330H February 1967 [1:30pm 03 Feb]

4. Time of Return: 040800H February 1967 [8:00am 04 Feb]

5. Route: None

6. Synopsis: This patrol covered a period of 18-1/2 hours with 1 sighting
of 3 VC.  Patrol was attacked by an estimated reinforced platoon of VC at
032103H [9:03pm, 03 Feb].  Patrol had 4 KIA and 5 WIA.  Flare ship was
over area.  Both radios were hit.  Patrol was extracted at 040800H.

7. Observations:
031835H BS723334  3 VC observing patrol. 1 khaki, 2 blk PS's.
032103H BS723334  Patrol received 1 frag grenade.
032210H BS723334  Patrol hit with grenades, rockets and S/A fire.
                  M-60 machinegun taken by VC.
032215H BS723334  Patrol reports 1 USMC KIA
032230H BS723334  Requests flare ship
032234H BS723334  Patrol reports surrounded
032235H BS723334  Patrol reports 1 USMC WIA
032237H BS723334  Patrol requests air [support], reports being overrun
032240H BS723334  Lost communications, both radios hit
032255H BS723334  Helo for extract arrives
032300H BS723334  Patrol leader KIA
040125H BS723334  Huey checked position, no movement.  Patrol had dug in
                  and waited for light, poped [sic] smoke, AO [aerial ob-
                  server] called helos for extract.
8. Other information: Patrol location BS734341, radio transmissions from
2210 - These SOBs are coming at us
2215 - Think we got 1 friendly KIA. (Lots of noise and screaming in back-
2230 - Request flare ship
2234 - Here they come again
2235 - They're coming all around us again.  We've got one friendly WIA.
2237 - How long before air?
2240 - Jesus Christ we're being over run.  Get us out!

Recon Command Group with C/7 CP [C Company, 1/7 Marines Command Post]:
2210  2240 Requested arty illum, flare ship, and emergency extraction
2255 - Helicopters arrived vicinity of patrol.  Could not contact on

9. Results of encounters with the enemy: Unknown.

10. Condition of Patrol: 4 USMC KIAs, 5 USMC WIAs 4 critical

11. Conclusions and Recommendations: None

12. Comments by Debriefer: None

                                J. L. WILLIAMS
                                GySgt USMC

The four Marines who died in the assault were

  • Sgt Robert F. Starbuck, Montgomery, NY (Silver Star)
  • Cpl Robert L. Shafer, Windsor, IL
  • Pfc Robert L. Armitage, Everett, WA
  • Pfc Edward F. Smith, Easton, MA
Since the post-patrol report includes the names and service numbers of the eleven men we know five wounded survived their injuries.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 31 May 1999
Last updated 08/10/2009