Robert Elwin GriffithFirst Lieutenant
A CO, 3RD BN, 8TH INFANTRY, 4 INF DIV
Army of the United States
02 September 1945 - 03 March 1969
Big Spring, Texas
Panel 30W Line 023
The database page for Robert Elwin Griffith
Robert Griffith was a Big Spring, Texas native. He was born in San Antonio, but attended schools in Big Spring. He was a graduate of Big Spring High School. He was married Linda Diane Duncan of Big Spring.
I did not know him, but I feel like I do. I served in the Army with another soldier from Big Spring who knew him and had been involved in the operation in which Lt. Griffin was killed. Lt. Griffin was in A Company and my buddy was in C Company. In late 1969, my friend told me the story of the operation, "Wayne Grey." His company had been held back in reserve and Lt. Griffin's "A" Company were involved in a serious fire fight and A Company was forced to withdraw after taking heavy casualities. When A Company was forced to withdraw, they left 12 soldiers in the field, Lt Griffith was one. C Company found the bodies in a sweep a few days later. This situation weighed really heavy on my friend for many years, he didn't know until later that Lt. Griffin was one of those they found and brought down from the hill for evacuation.
Lt. Griffith is remembered by the Big Spring Vietnam Memorial in Big Spring, Texas and by the Permian Basin Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Midland, Texas.
Billy M. Brown
My brother died while saving lives
A Note from The Virtual WallIn February 1969 the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, was directed to block and destroy NVA transportation routes in the Plei Trap Valley. The operation began on 1 March 1969 with a combat assault by A Company, 3/12 Infantry, into Landing Zone Swinger. After securing LZ Swinger for artillery emplacement A/1/12 and other 1st Brigade rifle companies spread out into the valley looking for NVA troops.
Late in the afternoon of 03 March, A Company, 3/8 Infantry, found them when they were engaged by enemy troops. The initial contact was heavy and the Artillery Forward Observer's RTO (PFC Santos) was killed in the first few minutes, reducing the effectiveness of artillery support. The contact rapidly degenerated into a violent up-close infantry fight. By the time the NVA were forced from their defensive positions Alpha 3/8th Infantry had lost twenty-one men:
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
Wayne E Griffith
Top of Page|
With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 7 Sep 2004
Last updated 11/17/2007