Robert F Balsley, Jr

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
16 May 1945 - 16 November 1968
Bay City, TX
Panel 39W Line 072

Combat Infantry

Bronze Star (2 awards), Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Robert F Balsley

The database page for Robert F Balsley, Jr

SGT. Robert F. Balsley
The Daily Tribune, Date Unknown, Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas

Sgt. Robert F. Balsley, son of Mrs. Bertha Balsley of Bay City, has been nominated for the Bronze Star for bravery in the Vietnam war. A 1963 graduate of Bay City High School, Balsley has been in Vietnam since May 1. He is serving in the Army. Balsley played football at Bay City and at Wharton County Junior College, where he graduated in 1965.

Former BCHS Student, Athlete Bob Balsley Killed In War
The Daily Tribune, November 18, 1968, Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas

"Things are pretty calm around here so far. We just moved into a new area and as yet don't know exactly what to expect..."

That is what S/Sgt. Bobby Balsley wrote home on Nov. 10. Saturday, the former Bay City High School and Wharton County Junior College football star was killed in action in South Vietnam. He is the 15th local serviceman to die in the war.

No details were available about his death, except that it was Saturday night and believed to be near the Cambodian border.

Balsley, the son of Mrs. Bertha Balsley, had been in Vietnam since May 1, 1968. He was serving as a sergeant with Co. B, 1st Bn., 7th Cav., 1st Air Cav. Div. He had been awarded the Bronze Star Medal in August for his performance during action at that time.

He was a 1962 graduate of Bay City High School and graduated from Wharton County JJunior College in 1965.

His unit had been transferred from up north to 40 miles west of Saigon, near the Cambodian border, a couple of weeks ago.

Sgt. Balsley was engaged to marry Barbara Morrow, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joel Morrow of Bay City. She is a Sam Houston State College student.

In his Nov. 10 letter Balsley said, "We celebrated Halloween the 31st, but it sure wasn't as much fun as it used to be back home. I'm anxious for Christmas to come. After Christmas I will start getting really short."

Funeral services are pending.

Military Funeral Set for Sgt. Bob Balsley at 3 p.m. Sunday in Bay City
The Daily Tribune November 22, 1968, Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas

Staff Sgt. Bobby Balsley, a former Bay City High School athlete who had been awarded two Bronze Star Medals -- the nation's fourth highest military honor -- for service in the Vietnam war, will be buried with full military honors Sunday.

Sgt. Balsley, 23, died Saturday night in a field hospital after being wounded in action that afternoon. He was serving as a platoon sergeant with Co. B, 1st Bn., 7th Cav., 1st Air Cav. Div., about 40 miles west of Saigon near the Cambodian border. He was stationed at Tay Ninh.

Funeral services are set at 3 p.m. Sunday at the First Baptist Church, the Rev. R. J. Pate of Houston officiating. Burial will be in Roselawn Memorial Park, under the direction of Taylor Brothers Funeral Home.

Sgt. Balsley is survived by his mother, Mrs. Bertha Balsley of Houston; one brother, Clyde Balsley of Houston, and two sisters, Mrs. Janet Neff of Houston and Mrs. Linda Traylor of Goliad, Tex.

Pallbearers will be Melvin Newsom, Robert Little, Gerald Hansik, Tommy Anderson, Lawrence Morrow, Larry Head, Mike Duncan and Dennis Clements. Honorary pallbearers will be Bobby Helflin, Howard Crain and Randall Parker.

Sgt. Balsley had been in the Army for 1 1/2 years. He had been in Vietnam since May 1, 1968, and had recently been promoted to sergeant (E-6).

A 1962 graduate of Bay City High School, Sgt. Balsley was an All-District football player and also played baseball. He was a member of the Key Club at Bay City High School.

He graduated from Wharton County Junior College in 1965, playing tackle and linebacker for the Pioneers and was named to the All-Conference football team. He attended the University of Texas for one semester after finishing Wharton County Junior College.

His family moved to Bay City when Sgt. Balsley was in high school. He was born in Freeport and had attended schools in Freeport, Louisiana and Houston. Sgt. Balsley played football at Jane Long Junior High School in Houston and Bellaire High School.

He received basic training at Fort Polk, La., and attended non commissioned officer school at Fort Benning, Ga.

Sgt. Balsley is the 15th local serviceman to die in the Vietnam War.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a member of the Matagorda County Historical Commission.
E-Mail may be forwarded via the
22 Nov 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 03/29/2003