Robert Francis StrykerSpecialist Four
C CO, 1ST BN, 26TH INF RGT, 1 INF DIV
Army of the United States
09 November 1944 - 07 November 1967
Auburn, New York
Panel 29E Line 045
The database page for Robert Francis Stryker
I was there, in the North on the day you died.
A tracing of your name taken from the "Wall" rests
I wrote a poem a few years ago and will leave it here.
Call Sign: Negotiate Charlie
From a friend,
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.
Notes from The Virtual WallThe 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
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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