Robert Francis Cote

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
10 July 1948 - 05 April 1967
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Panel 17E Line 102


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Robert Francis Cote

02 Feb 2007

Robert was a classmate of mine, a friend of mine growing up and an overall good human being. He never had a bad thing to say about anyone. If there is a heaven (I know there is) then Robert is there. Like the saying goes, "Only the good die young"

From a friend,
Russell Desrosiers

19 Feb 2007

I was one of the Corpsmen who was putting the stretcher containing LCpl Cote on the helicopter when it blew up. HN Carl Zarling, HM2 Kauffman and myself were the attending Corpsmen when Cote had hit an anti-personnel mine. When the Huey was coming in, they handed out a regular stretcher that replaced the poncho that we had Bob in. The individual handing us the stretcher was HM1 Parker. Zarling and a Marine were in the front of the stretcher, while Kauffman and myself were in the back. We had just laid the stretcher on the chopper and were pushing it in when the chopper blew. We were all thrown from the chopper, the pilot and the copilot of the chopper almost died immediately. I had my hands, arms and back burnt, HM2 Kauffman was still burning and had to be extinguished, dying two days later. We were coming off of the hill, when the third explosion that killed Lt Toepritz, Doc Bristow and the others happened. Bob was then burnt on the chest and body, plus the wounds that he had suffered before. I talked to Bob and held his hand right until the CH-46 chopper that was bringing us into 1st Med Battalion landed, at which time LCpl Robert Cote died. Bob was a good Marine, with a good heart.

Verl H. Matthews

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The DoD casualty file shows that 12 sailors and Marines died as the result of an aircraft-associated incident on 5 April 1967:
  • Aircrew UH-1E BuNo 151852, VMO-6, MAG-36
    • Capt Alan J. Dean, West Chicago, IL
    • Capt Brooke M. Shadburne, Ashland, OR
    • HM1 Thomas A. Parker, Oxford, IN (MABS-36)
    • Cpl Joseph A. Scruggs, Hopkinsville, KY

  • 2nd Bn, 7th Marines
    • 2ndLt Richard Toepritz, Chicago, IL, Golf Company
    • Sgt Ernest B. Cupp, Hanceville, AL, Golf Company
    • HM2 Michael M. Kauffman, Goshen, IN, H&S Company (DoW 07 Apr 1967)
    • Cpl Kenneth M. Kessinger, Govan, WA, Golf Company
    • HN Glenn T. Bristow, Chicago Ridge, IL, H&S Company
    • LCpl Robert F. Cote, Lawrence, MA, Golf Company
    • LCpl Leonard I. Moore, Hanover, IN, Golf Company
    • Pfc Bert Guerra, Miamisburg, OH, Golf Company
Only five of the twelve men actually were aboard the aircraft; the others were on the ground. Extracts from the Command Chronologies of the two units involved explain what happened when a UH-1E from VMO-6 was dispatched on a medevac mission about 3 kilometers southeast of Duc Pho Airfield:
  • From the VMO-6 Command Chronology:
    "The squadron was saddened today by the loss of four (4) squadron mates killed in action. Captains DEAN and SHADBURNE, Cpl SCRUGGS, and HM1 PARKER of MABS-36 died when their UH-1E was destroyed by a large enemy mine in a landing zone near Nui Dang in support of Operation Desoto."
  • From the 3rd Bn, 7th Marines' Command Chronology:
    "At 051750H [5:50 pm, 05 April] a fireteam at BS843366 from Co G/2/7 tripped a 105mm artillery shell devised as an anti-personnel mine. As a UH-1E med-evac helicopter hovered over the LZ at BS841367, a large explosion occurred under the helicopter causing it to disintegrate. While rushing to aid the wounded, Marines of G/2/7 tripped another large explosive device at BS844367. A search of the area disclosed a 300 meter length of comm wire leading from the LZ to a cane field at BS846367, indicating the helicopter was destroyed by a command detonated bomb. Analysis of both craters showed the explosives used were at least 250 lb bombs or larger. USMC casualties were 10 KIA and 13 WIA."
The unknown Marine wounded by the AP mine had already been put aboard the Huey before the explosion occurred, so that five men died aboard the aircraft itself. One of the wounded men, Navy Corpsman Michael Kauffman, died two days later of injuries received. The remains of one of the men aboard the UH-1E, HM1 Thomas Parker, could not be identified.

Additional information and eye-witness reports are available on the Pop-A-Smoke site.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Russell Desrosiers

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MA State Index . Panel 17E

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 02 Feb 2007
Last updated 07/20/2007