Robert Hugh SteeleCorporal
H&MS-16, MAG-16, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
30 April 1944 - 28 August 1967
Panel 25E Line 060
The database page for Robert Hugh Steele
REMEMBEREDby his comrades in the
USMC Vietnam Helicopter Association
A memorial initiated by a fellow Marine,
When I was fifteen, he seemed the wisest and handsomest of men. He was my oldest of three brothers, and I the only girl. To say we miss him is understating our feelings greatly. There isn't a day that goes by we don't think of him, and his smile and energy, and that look in his eye that made you feel he knew a secret, but couldn't tell. It was his energy that amazed me, he had three jobs before joining The United States Marine Corps. He managed a bowling alley, managed a cement block section for my Dad, and was on the police force at night. In school he was studying to become a part of the F.B.I.
His faith was strong, and his sense of humor never-ending. He will always be alive to us as we speak of the things he used to do, to all our children, and grand children, and they are all aware of Uncle Bob, and his red hair and bright blue eyes.
I will never forget watching him wave from the caboose of the train as he left for the west to ship out. He chose the train so he could see the United States cross-country. He always liked fast cars and he made it my job to keep his white-walls immaculate. I considered it an honor, after all he was my big brother!
So, thank you Bob for all you were, and are, and we will all be together again. Love forever to you!
01 Jan 2006
One more Christmas passes and my heart still aches at your absence. People always say it gets easier, it doesn't, it only becomes more bearable.
From his sister
Rebecca Steele McMillan
1946 Boomer Rd, (P O Box 212) Boomer, NC 28606
It took me a long time to find you, my childhood friend. I guess you could say it took a lifetime. Thanks to the enduring love of your family, particularly your sister Becky, I am finally able to confirm that the Robert Steele who is etched on the Wall is truly you. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried when I saw your picture and the memorial messages in your honor. Memories of Conneaut, the Marshall Street gang, school, girls, baseball, and a true friend came flooding back to me.
I want to thank you for being my friend and competitor. Whether it was school, girls, or sports we were always friends but also competitors. I want to thank you for making me a stronger person. I want to thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice for the country we love. The Bobby Steele that I know would have given no less.
Til we meet again
Bob and I served together with the Marine Air Detachment at NAS Jacksonville for six months. He was an unforgettable character: a tall, gangly, freckled redhead with a ready smile who was affectionately nicknamed "Spider Monkey". I was eighteen and Bob was an old man of twenty-one. Easter weekend that year (1966) Bob was in tne duty section and could not leave the base but my big brother tossed me the keys to his totally unsexy grey four door Plymouth Valliant and I was off to Daytona Beach.
We received orders at the same time to report to Camp Pendleton, California enroute to Vietnam but I was delayed for several months because of an auto accident.
Eventually I made it to Chu Lai where one dark night while diving into a bunker my glasses got knocked off my face and were crushed under somebody's boot. My gunny got me a set of orders to go to Marble Mountain and have a new pair made.
I hitched a ride on a helicopter, flying blind as it were, I'm nearsighted and astigmatized but the door gunner recognized me from NAS JAX and told me that Spider Monkey was at Marble Mountain. The gunner, whose name I don't remember, helped me navigate to H&MS-16 where we found Cpl. Steele who was my eyes for two days and nights at Marble Mountain and Danang.
Bob led me to the chow hall, dragged me to the club for beers, found me a vacant cot to sleep in, helped me into a bunker during a rocket attack the first night and to get my glasses on the third day.
I am almost an old man now ... and Bob Steele is forever young. Semper fidelis.
Dana Steven Smith
A Note from The Virtual WallAt 0130 on the morning of 28 August 1967, the Marble Mountain Air Facility came under heavy rocket attack. Five Marines died in the barrage and dozens of others were wounded. The dead were
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 3 Mar 2003
Last updated 08/10/2009