Robert Dale Draper

United States Marine Corps
09 July 1948 - 02 August 1967
Morenci, Arizona
Panel 24E Line 066


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Robert Dale Draper

06 Oct 2006

Robert Dale Draper, known as Bobby, was a great friend. We grew up together. Bobby was a good person, someone I really looked up too. He had good morals, was an All-State football player. He loved his family. Bob was his father, Carlin was his mother, brother Kenny, sister Susie. Bobby was like a brother to me. Wish he was still here with us. He was a big boy with reddish hair and freckles, strong as an ox. Just want him to know I've missed him a great deal and want to thank him and the rest for giving me and my family the freedom we have. Bobby, I know your life here on this earth was short but I thank you and the Good Lord for the times we had. May God bless YOU!!!

Love and Miss you,
Your Friend
Rick Melton
965 N 400 W Cedar City, Utah 84720

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 2nd Bn, 5th Marines Command Chronology for August 1967 contains the following entry:
"On 2 August, an engineer mine sweep team with reinforced squad security, while moving north from AN HOA to PHU LAC (6) in the vicinity AT909481 came under intense enemy small arms, automatic [weapons], and 57mm Recoiless Rifle fire from an estimated 50 VC well entrenched in concealed positions on either side of the road. Supporting artillery fires were immediately brought to bear on the enemy positions while a platoon strike force was alerted and dispatched to the beleaguered Marine unit. By the time of the arrival of the strike force the VC had broken contact leaving 15 USMC KIA and 1 USMC WIA behind."

Although the entry says 15 Marines were killed in the ambush, the casualty database shows only 12 Marines killed in Quang Nam Province on 02 Aug 1967. One of the 12 is known to be from the 1st Marines and was not involved in this incident. A further search identifies three men from the 1st Engineer Battalion killed by gunshot on 02 Aug, but two of those are placed in Quang Tin Province and one far south in Phuoc Tuy Province. The latter quite clearly is incorrect; there were no Marines in the Mekong Delta in August 1967.

The 1st Engineer Battalion Command Chronology notes that Bravo Company was reinforced with elements of Alpha Company, and the 1st Eng Bn SITREP for 02 Aug 1967 shows that Bravo Company was tasked with a road sweep operation in the An Hoa area preparatory to a convoy run to An Hoa. While this isn't conclusive proof that the three engineers were killed in the road sweep incident it is considered to be enough evidence to include them here.

Fourteen Marines can thus be associated with the incident:

  • E Co, 2nd Bn, 5th Marines:
    • 1stLt Paul C. Bertolozzi, Elmwood Park, IL

  • G Co, 2nd Bn, 5th Marines:
    • Cpl Raymond L. Abbott, Sugar Grove, PA
    • Pfc Thomas M. Blystone, Gary, IN
    • Cpl Robert D. Draper, Morenci, AZ
    • Cpl Patrick B. Hoppe, San Lorenzo, CA
    • Pfc John K. Johnson, Midwest City, OK
    • LCpl James R. Majors, Clute, TX
    • LCpl Glenn R. McCuaig, Americus, GA
    • Sgt Roger M. Poirier, Redondo Beach, CA
    • LCpl Michael L. Trombley, Garden City, MI

  • H&S Co, 2nd Bn, 5th Marines:
    • HN Larry G. Salisberry, Washington, PA

  • 1st Engineer Bn:
    • Cpl Albert F. Wright, Annapolis, MD, "B" Company
    • Pfc Theodore F. Fuss, Brookpark, OH, "A" Company
    • Pfc Keith C. Perkins, Hood River, OR, "B" Company
Even so, a question remains open: Who was the 15th Marine killed in the incident?

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Rick Melton
965 N 400 W Cedar City, Utah 84720

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index D
AZ State Index . Panel 24E

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 06 Oct 2006
Last updated 10/17/2006