Robert George CarrPrivate First Class
C CO, 1ST BN, 9TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
12 April 1950 - 18 June 1969
South Holland, Illinois
Panel 22W Line 073
The database page for Robert George Carr
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
A memorial from one who remembers,
Robert G. Carr is my hero. He was a friend of my brother Paul Basil Festen. Two high school idiots locked my big brother (who was small for his age) in a locker and when Bob discovered this he read them the riot act and gave them a quick attitude adjustment and had them release my big brother, promising them that "Paul is my friend - you mess with him, you mess with me" (or words to that effect).
Paul found out after a week in-country that Bob had given his all for our nation. I know that my sweet Lord Jesus is never too busy for me, and that Saint Michael is always with me, but when I really get scared I know in my heart of hearts that the spirit of a full-on U.S. Marine is there to guide and protect me.
I write this humble dedication not to mourne Robert Carr but to celebrate him. I used to travel in my work as a musician and I tell everyone of his valiant efforts as a Cold War Hero, how his selfless sacrifice helped to bring the evil Soviet to its knees so we could finally erase this vicious monster from the face of the planet.
When I toured the campfires, resorts and taverns of Northern Minnesota I would tell all the young people about Bob. At a Fourth of July fireworks display in Walker, Minnesota, in the summer of 2001 I passed out red, white, and blue Chem light sticks to the youngsters and told them "These light sticks were developed for the Vietnam War effort. When you see the 'Rockets' red glare' say Robert Carr as loud as you can". I could hear them on the other side of the Park. Love, D.Festen
From a family friend,
To a great friend and fellow Marine.
Bob and I had known each other in high school and became great friends after I had graduated; Bob was a year behind me although we were the same age. In the summer of 1968 we went down to the recruiting office in Harvey and signed on with the US Marines and left for boot camp that November.
Our adventure had begun and San Diego's MCRD was every thing we thought it would be and more ... the more referring to our DI's attitudes, which changed as easily as the weather. We relied on one another a lot and, to be honest, Bob's sarcastic sense of humor was just what I needed to help me make it through.
As we became "big timers" and went on through ITR and into BITS we learned what it was like to be a Marine and begin our infantry training, as our military occupation was 03. In BITS we were trained as 0351 or anti-tank assaultman, which included LLAW, 3.5 rocket launcher ("bazooka" to you civilians), flame throwers, and the 106mm recoiless rifle.
We knew where we would be going but never really talked about it much, our fates were accepted like true Marines. On leaves and liberties we were inseparable as our lives became intertwined in the Corps. I'll never forget getting soused in Anaheim at some fleabag motel then getting robbed as we slept it off, or going to Spanky's in Gary, Indiana for some fun and frivolity when a bunch of us hooked up in Chicago right before the end of our leave. That was priceless. We knew we were heading back for staging to go overseas and managed to make it home for one more weekend before we left, but it was sad knowing where we were going and what we were leaving. We sucked it up.....
After staging we left for Okinawa for about 5 days and then on to Da Nang when we arrived May 19, 1969. Our first day in Nam, little did I know it would be our last day together. I got assigned to the 7th Marines and Bob to the 9th, known even then as the Walking Dead. As we stood together that last time you never think it could be the last time so you try and act overly normal about it; it's what the Marines train you for ... but it's always in the back of your mind. I can't remember our conversation but it was probably something like, "Take care of yourself, watch your ass and get some". And then my friend was gone.....
Two months later I received the news that Bob was killed. I wrote a letter to his parents and then I put his memory away for a while. These things happen under those conditions ... who knows why. It was years later before I would let myself remember him again and now not a day goes by without a fond memory of our time spent together or with my wondering "what would Bob do if he were here?" He is still a close friend who gives me guidance and I miss his presence here. I feel the world would be a little better place with him in it.
So Semper Fi, my friend, and thanks for having the courage to walk point for me into the valley, for now I will fear no evil.
From a friend and fellow Marine,
Growing up in South Holland has many special memories for me, especially the friendships I enjoyed with the other kids in our neighborhood. One of those kids was Bob Carr, who only lived a few doors down. As kids in all neighborhoods, the relationships we boys had with each other helped develop characteristics that lasted into our latter lives. Bob was one of those kids that made a difference in mine...
Whether it was the intensity in what Bob had to say while just talking, or the go-for-all participation in the games we played, Bob always got our attention because of the passion he displayed for life. A more loyal friend you could not find ... you could always count on him having your back...
To die at a young age is always tragic, but if there can be any solace in Bob's death it is the recognition that he died honorably as a United States Marine representing our great country. And if Bob had to die I know he would have found this fate to have been acceptable.
Until we are all back together one day, we will miss Bob and will honor his memory. We are grateful that he graced our lives.
From a friend and fellow United States Marine,
A Note from The Virtual WallOn 18 June 1969 the 1/9 Marines were under the operational control of the 1st Brigade, 5th (US) Infantry Division, participating in Operation Utah Mesa on the Khe Sanh plateau, where three battalions of the 577th Regiment, 304th NVA Division, were known to be located. Reports of the 18 June action involving Charlie 1/9 can be found in the 1/9 and HQ MACV Command Chronologies for June 1969. The 1/9 Chronology states that
"At 1030H, Company C encountered a well-entrenched enemy .50 caliber machine-gun position with automatic weapons and suffered 9 KIA's and 14 WIA's. The company assaulted and secured the position and directed air strikes on the enemy situated on the high ground. Artillery was called in as the enemy withdrew into a draw. A total of 35 enemy were killed."while the MACV Chronology reads
"At 1030 an element of the [9th Marines] was fired on by a well-entrenched enemy force of unknown size 4 miles SE of Khe Sanh. Reinforced by another element of the regiment, the Marines attacked, supported by artillery and air strikes. The enemy withdrew at 1830, leaving 35 of his dead (North Vietnamese Army). Four individual weapons were captured. Marine casualties: 9 killed, 14 wounded, of whom 9 were evacuated."The nine men from Charlie 1/9 were
The 1/9 Marines lost another man in a different engagement earlier that morning: Pfc Stephen Orosco of Tularosa, NM, from Alpha 1/9.
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one who remembers,
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 28 Dec 2001
Last updated 09/13/2007