Robert Francis Stryker

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
09 November 1944 - 07 November 1967
Auburn, New York
Panel 29E Line 045

Medal of Honor

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, Army Commendation (Valor), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Robert F Stryker

The database page for Robert Francis Stryker

22 Dec 2003

I was there, in the North on the day you died.
Months later I learned that your Father was
presented your Medal of Honor for your heroic
actions on 7 November 1967.

A tracing of your name taken from the "Wall" rests
near my office telephone and you are thought of daily.
It is now fitting that a new Army combat vehicle bears
your name, along with another MOH winner
from another war, another time, another land.

I wrote a poem a few years ago and will leave it here.
Know this, my old high school friend -
you will never be forgotten and you will forever be missed.
Time never heals this pain. You are thought of daily.
Rest in the arms of angels. This is for you, your brothers
in arms and those left behind.

Call Sign: Negotiate Charlie
Danang 1966-1968


The line is long; the coffins stand
Why has this happened in this land
A place called Vietnam

Young men who freely met their call
and gave the utmost for us all
A place called Vietnam

The Wall is long - the dark efface
your names forever will embrace
A place called Vietnam

Tears flow as we look upon
your memory emblazed thereon
A tribute to you all

Your lives cut short for duty served
a sentence filled but not deserved
A place called Vietnam

Rest assured we'll not forget
your selfless sacrificial debt
A place called Vietnam

From a friend,
Robert A. Downie

The President of the United States
in the name of the Congress of the United States
takes pride in presenting the


posthumously to

Specialist Four
Army of the United States

for service as set forth in the following


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SP4 Stryker, U.S. Army, distinguished himself while serving with Company C. SP4 Stryker was serving as a grenadier in a multicompany reconnaissance in force near Loc Ninh. As his unit moved through the dense underbrush, it was suddenly met with a hail of rocket, automatic weapons and small arms fire from enemy forces concealed in fortified bunkers and in the surrounding trees. Reacting quickly, SP4 Stryker fired into the enemy positions with his grenade launcher. During the devastating exchange of fire, SP4 Stryker detected enemy elements attempting to encircle his company and isolate it from the main body of the friendly force. Undaunted by the enemy machinegun and small-arms fire, SP4 Stryker repeatedly fired grenades into the trees, killing enemy snipers and enabling his comrades to sever the attempted encirclement. As the battle continued, SP4 Stryker observed several wounded members of his squad in the killing zone of an enemy claymore mine. With complete disregard for his safety, he threw himself upon the mine as it was detonated. He was mortally wounded as his body absorbed the blast and shielded his comrades from the explosion. His unselfish actions were responsible for saving the lives of at least 6 of his fellow soldiers. SP4 Stryker's great personal bravery was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

14 Mar 2006

On the morning of November 7th, 3rd squad leader Ron Payne ordered me to tag along with Lt Nery and John Bastardi, his RTO. I was to count pace as we moved to check points.

After we cleared the village of Srok Rung and broke for lunch, we moved out again. Shortly after the column moved forward, point man Paul Summers blasted one NVA and his slack, Baker, wounded a second NVA. The chase was on to track down the wounded soldier. When the column stood up to follow us, the NVA on the right flank opened up.

Things went to hell in a handbasket quickly. The third squad was shot down but not before Robert Stryker charged the 3 NVA soldiers setting up a large claymore on a tripod. He gave his life so others could live. The ultimate sacrifice.

Charley White, 3rd squad machine gunner, was wounded 3 times. Our medic, Doc Faircloth, was gravely wounded. Both survived and Doc Faircloth probably still carries the bullet right next to his spine from the barrage. Willie Omnik survived as well but died back in his home state of Alaska.

The 3rd squad died that day. Willie and I took 5 new replacements out on November 8th for their first ambush patrol as we rebuilt the squad. The war raged on...

Thanks, Stryker. You were a true hero that day and even though you didn't live to see it, your buddy 1st Sgt Poolaw died that day, too. I hope the two of you continued your verbal battles right on through those pearly gates.

Bob Morris
Charlie Company, November platoon, 3rd squad
9300 SW Inez Street, Tigard, Or 97224-5875

Notes from The Virtual Wall

The Battle of Loc Ninh began on 29 October 1967 when the 272nd and 273rd Viet Cong Regiments converged on Loc Ninh, the 272nd from the northeast and the 273rd from the west. At 0100 hours on 29 October the 273rd Regiment attacked the district headquarters and the Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) and Special Forces camp at the Loc Ninh airfield. The 273rd Regiment pressed the attack until 0535 when it was forced to withdraw. Although it had briefly penetrated the CIDG compound, there were 147 Viet Cong bodies on the battlefield.

In reaction to the attack, Major General John H. Hay, Jr., commander of the 1st Infantry Division, deployed four battalions and their supporting artillery in a rough square around Loc Ninh. At 0630 on 29 October the 1/18th Infantry made an air assault into the southwestern corner of the square, four kilometers west of the Loc Ninh airstrip. Elements of 2/28th Infantry, and two batteries of artillery were moved to the airstrip. 1/26th Infantry and 1/28th Infantry were moved to Quan Loi, from where they could be committed as the situation developed. Seven major engagements were fought during the following week, with heavy losses inflicted on both VC regiments.

The final engagement occurred on 7 November, when two companies of 1/26th Infantry engaged the 3rd Battalion of the 272nd Viet Cong Regiment. On 6 November 1/26 air-assaulted into an area roughly eight kilometers northeast of Loc Ninh. The day after the air assault, Companies C and D and Colonel Stigall's command group engaged the 3/272nd Regiment. Artillery, armed helicopters, and air strikes supported the U. S. troops. Although fifteen U. S. troops died in heavy fighting, ninety-three enemy soldiers were killed - and the battle of Loc Ninh ended with the remnants of the two VC regiments withdrawing into the mountains. One Medal of Honor, two Distinguished Service Crosses, and at least two Silver Stars were awarded for extraordinary valor.

The fifteen men who died that day are

  • HHC, 1st Bn, 26th Inf Rgt, 1 Inf Div, USARV
    • COL Arthur D. Stigall, Chase, LA (Dist Svc Cross)
    • PSGT George D. Clayton, Belmar, NJ (Silver Star)
    • SGT Charles E. Long, Clanton, AL
    • PFC Ronald G. Stoltenow, Hankinson, ND

  • C Co, 1st Bn, 26th Inf Rgt, 1 Inf Div, USARV
    • PFC Larry C. Banks, Nashville, IN
    • SP4 Lawrence W. Barkley, Columbus, OH
    • SP4 Billie J. Barnett, Overland, MO
    • SGT Ronald H. Payne, Bloomingdale, GA
    • 1SG Pascal C. Poolaw, Apache, OK (Silver Star)
    • SP4 Robert F. Stryker, Auburn, NY (Medal of Honor)
    • SP4 John E. Young, Oconto, WI

  • D Co, 1st Bn, 26th Inf Rgt, 1 Inf Div, USARV
    • SP4 James R. Brown, Tennessee Colony, TX
    • PFC Walter C. Bunyea, Las Cruces, NM
    • SP4 Clarence L. Shaw, Ardmore, OK (Dist Svc Cross)
    • SP4 Larry E. Turner, Columbus, OH
Specialist 4 Robert F. Stryker is buried in the Pine Hill Cemetery, Throop, New York.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009