Robert Crozier Barnes, Jr

Second Lieutenant
United States Marine Corps
04 June 1944 - 30 May 1968
Carmi, Illinois
Panel 63W Line 014


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Robert Crozier Barnes, Jr

16 Sep 2001

This memorial is to Lieutenant Robert C. Barnes, USMC, a patriot and friend who did his duty to God and Country. I think of you often and remember the times when we were room-mates on Yale Street as Midshipmen at the University of New Mexico.

From a friend,
Loren H. Page, Captain USNR (Ret)
E-Mail mail address not available
16 Sep 2001

2nd Lt Robert Barnes also is remembered
by his comrades of the
1st Recon Battalion

23 May 2002

Dear Captain Page,

Robert Crozier Barnes (1944-1968) was my first cousin. He was one of only three cousins I had, and the closest thing I ever had to an older brother. He was about 7 years older than me. For the most part he was raised by our grandmother, Annie Lee Frazier Crowley, in Decatur Ga, and as a kid I remember spending lots of weekends and summers there with him and his two sisters Barbara and Diane.

Robert went off to college when I was still in grammar school, but I remember seeing him soon after he had graduated and decided to go into the USMC. I vividly remember seeing him sometime later, in uniform, and recall him joking about having been "killed" several times in war games exercises.

That memory has probably stuck with me because it wasn't much later - maybe a year or 18 months later? - that we got word that he had been killed in Vietnam shortly after having been deployed there. I definitely remember that I was 17 years old at the time, having just finished my junior year in high school. I still remember that my family was spending that summer at Lake Burton in the North Georgia mountains when we heard (probably that June), and I remember everyone crying; my Dad (Robert's uncle), my Mom, my three brothers and me. They all left to return to Decatur to be with our grandmother and with Robert's mother, Anne Crowley Barnes, but I stayed up at the Lake, alone, truly grieving, but frankly also giving reign to my own fears about being drafted and venting my teenage angst.

The weird thing is, I spent that next week driving to and from a nearby mountain stream gathering hundreds of smooth river stones and bringing them back to our cabin. I built a little wall and walkway with them - you could sit on the wall part - and dedicated my work to Robert's memory.... Recently I visited the site and was saddened to see that our old cabin had been torn down and replaced with a fancy lodge. However, the chimney of the new structure is made from exactly the same kind of stone I used for my little "memorial wall", and I have to believe that Robert's stones ended up in that chimney. Those old teenage memories came flooding back when I took my son Hayes up to DC to the real Wall a couple of years ago and showed him Robert's name. They came back again when I ran across your memorial site.

No real point in telling you all this, but it gave me an opportunity to revisit my own memories of Robert, and I rather enjoyed the visit.

I don't know whether any other family members have seen your memorial site or contacted you - there are few of us left and we are far-flung and no longer in touch - but for myself and on behalf of all four of his first cousins (the other three are my brothers), I offer our heartfelt thanks for the memorial you are sponsoring.

Thank you.

Carl Crowley

A Note from The Virtual Wall

A nine-man recon patrol led by 2ndLt Barnes was inserted into Elephant Valley at 0900 26 May and spent the next four days observing enemy activities in the patrol area. They were to be extracted on the morning of 30 May.

The 1st Recon Battalion's Command Chronology for May 1968 contains the post-operation report for the patrol on which 2ndLt Barnes was killed and is the source of the following extract:

"SYNOPSIS: This patrol covered a period of 98 hours with 1 contact with an estimated 40 VC. Contact resulted in 1 USMC KIA, 1 USMC WIA, and 2 VC KIA conf[irmed]. 1 FM [artillery fire mission] and 1 airstrike were called with unknown results.

"300800H at AT816872 - Estimated 40 VC engaging patrol, khakis and black PJ's; AK-47'S and M16'S and packs. The patrol was in their extract LZ when they observed 2 VC moving down a streambed. The patrol took the VC under fire, resulting in 2 VC KIA conf, almost immediately the patrol came under fire from 40 VC, resulting in 1 USMC KIA and 1 USMC WIA. Arty and fixed wing were utilized with unknown results. The fixed wing and the birds which extracted the patrol took heavy fire."

Although the only available copy of the Situation Report associated with the incident (1st Recon Bn SITREP 151-68) is nearly illegible, it is clear that the extraction effort involved A-4s from Marine Attack Squadron 121, 4 (perhaps 6) UH-1E gunships, and two CH-46s. CH-46A tail number 152518 is known to have taken hits while on the ground but it appears there were no casualties other than 2ndLt Barnes and the enlisted Marine wounded in the exchange described above.

Four of the eight men with 2ndLt Barnes were killed in action five weeks later - they were
  • Cpl William D. Johnson, Kokomo, IN (Silver Star);
  • Cpl Gary D. Tisdall, Modesto, CA;
  • Cpl Sherman D. Vance, West Point, IL; and
  • LCpl Paul Scheckler, Huntingdon Valley, PA.
The circumstances of their deaths may be found on the memorial to Sgt Joseph J. Jones of Scotland Neck, NC (Silver Star).

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his cousin,
Carl Crowley
16 Sep 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 11/03/2005