Bobby Don Carver

Boatswains Mate 1st Class
United States Navy
30 October 1935 - 06 December 1967
Richmond, California
Panel 31E Line 044


TF 115

Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Bobby Don Carver

3 Oct 2002

Bobby D Carver


by another "swift boat sailor",
Terry Boone
22 Dec 2002

Bobby Don Carver is perhaps best remembered by his Swift Boat shipmates for his heroic actions in stopping the North Vietnamese re-supply vessel known as Skunk Alpha during a running sea battle on the night of July 15, 1967.

Despite terrible sea conditions on a very small boat, Bobby Don persevered to clear a possibly faulty 81 MM round from his front loading gun while under enemy fire and then made an outstanding shot that put the intruder on the beach to be salvaged, with its 100 tons of armamnent, the following day.

But the man that put the telling blow into Skunk Alpha was fatally wounded on December 6, 1967 while his boat was conducting a Chieu Hoi operation near the entrance to the Song Tra Khuc river. It took almost thirty years for his gallant actions of 1967 to be properly recognized. In 1996, his son was presented the Bronze Star awarded to Bobby Don for his part in stopping Skunk Alpha.

Every sailor that knew this outstanding leader and seaman has made at least one visit to The Wall in Washington D.C. to pay their respects to not only this true friend, but to all the other Swift Boat Sailors that are still on patrol in South East Asia.

Robert B. Shirley
OinC PCF-45 at the time

PCF-79 firing on Skunk Alpha
PCF-79 firing on Skunk Alpha

Read about the
Skunk Alpha intercept

29 Oct 2005


by his son,
Kevin Carver

Notes from The Virtual Wall

The U. S. Naval Forces Vietnam Command History for December 1967 contains the following entry:

"On 6 December PCF 79 came under automatic weapons fire from five different positions while conducting a loudspeaker "psyops" mission along the South China Sea coast approximately 10 miles south of Cape Batangan. The Swift boat received five automatic-weapon hits, and Boatswain's Mate First Class Bobby Don CARVER, USN, the forward gunner, was killed during the action. The PCF returned the fire with unknown results and opened the area."

CosDiv 12

At the time of his death, Petty Officer Carver and the PCF-79 were assigned to Coastal Division 12 based at Chu Lai. However, at the time of the Skunk Alpha incident, PCF-79 was assigned to Coastal Division 16.

CosDiv 16

Coastal Division 16 was formed on 20 June 1967 with 12 PCFs and 18 crews reassigned from Coastal Division 12 Det Chu Lai and Coastal Division 14. During the next few months, CosDiv 16 saw some of the most active, turbulent, and tragic activities of that period of the Swift Boat war. CosDiv 16 was deactivated on 01 Nov 67, again becoming Coastal Division 12 Det Chu Lai. The boats taken from CosDiv 14 returned to Cam Ranh Bay, while PCF-79 and other ex-CosDiv 12 boats remained at Chu Lai.

Petty Officer Carver's surviving crew members on PCF-79 feel that he would want to be remembered as being a member of CosDiv 16 in addition to CosDiv 12 ... as he was at the time of the Skunk Alpha action.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his son,
Kevin Carver
3 Oct 2002

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index C
CA State Index . Panel 31E
TF 115 Index

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