Robert Francis McManus

Army of the United States
30 January 1947 - 12 August 1968
Wayne, New Jersey
Panel 48W Line 001



Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Robert Francis McManus

09 Jan 1999

My name is Gary McManus and my brother Robert was killed in Viet Nam on August 12, 1968. I think that all of the United States should always not only remember but be constantly be reminded of the hell that my brother and all of these men went through. We should be always be reminded of the loss that we as family went through.

I know that when my brother was killed my life changed forever. It was like I lost my will to live. My family was so close before Bobby went to war and now we have completely fallen apart over the years. I have a picture of my brother in the jungle with the saw grass and the sweat hanging on my wall and it is a constant wake up call to the hell of war.

I miss him so much.

May God bless you and all who served in Viet Nam.

Gary McManus

26 Nov 2006

I was much too young to even know my brother Robert yet all my life I was constantly reminded of his presence.

Mom would cry all the time, my brother Phil wore the same shirt (the only article of clothing he had that belonged to Robert) all the time. I believe he wore it until it fell from his back.

Our home was not a home but simply "a house".

I remember my brother Phil telling me once that I was so unlucky. "You never had the chance to know mom because after Bobby died, she changed. Then all was lost."

Dad took me under his wing and spoiled me rotten. Boy, was that the wrong thing to do. I would have rather been alone and unspoiled than to have gone through what I did as a kid!

The family had been torn apart since Bobby died and now I do not see my family any more because all is simply "lost forever".

God bless all the men who lost their lives during the Vietnam war and any other horrifying war. God bless their families, aunts, uncles, children, brothers and sisters.

And let us all be thankful that these men gave their lives for something, anything they believed in. For each of our beliefs are of different value.

Kisses in the wind to all...

From his sister,

A Note from The Virtual Wall

C Company, 4/47th Infantry, lost six men on 12 August 1968:
  • SGT Bobby Freeman, Grantville, GA
  • SGT Ronald L. Panzer, Rosemount, MN
  • SP4 Harry J. Haas, St Paul, MN
  • SP4 Stanley G. Holton, Phoenix, AZ
  • CPL Robert F. McManus, Wayne, NJ
  • PFC Earnest Eatman, Birmingham, AL

The following text is taken from the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial site:

Robert F. McManus was born on January 30, 1947. Robert lived in Closter, NJ, with his family and moved to Wayne in 1962. Robert graduated from Wayne Valley High School in 1965. He was a member of the school�s varsity wrestling squad. Robert attended Rockland Community College for a year and then worked for Wilson & Company in Paterson, NJ.

McManus was drafted in to the US Army from his home in Wayne, NJ in September 1967. He attained the rank of Corporal (CPL). He was sent to Vietnam on March 4, 1968 and served as a reconnaissance expert in the Mekong Delta.

McManus was killed in action during a Viet Cong ambush on August 12, 1968, while his unit was en route to Dak To [sic].

McManus was survived by his mother and stepfather, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Conklin, and five siblings, Gary, Phillip, John, Tina and Rene. Services were held at Moore�s Home for Funerals in Wayne, NJ.

Robert "Farmer Bob" McManus was promoted to Sergeant posthumously. The promotion was in the works at the time of his death. He was buried in uniform with Sergeant stripes. His death was the final straw that prompted me to quit college (in my 4th year) and enlist in the Marines.

The day before his body arrived home, I sent Joan Weissmann of Packanack Lake (a reporter for the Paterson Evening news), a letter about Bob and a conversation we�d had the day of our graduation. She interviewed me and wrote a column about Bob based on the letter and the interview. It appeared in the Pat Eve News on the day of his funeral.

I remember the day his picture appeared on the front page with the announcement of his death. Right next to it was an article about a Wayne Police Officer suspended for having long sideburns. I thought the story was about Bob because I heard he had passed the test for the Wayne PD. He was drafted before a vacancy opened up though.

Reading the rest of the page was one of the worst experiences of my life - up to that point. Three other friends had been killed in Vietnam (Mike Kilroy, Ralph Valt and Danny Thompson) and another was killed less than two months later (John Dalton), but I was closer to Bob than to any of the others.

Written by Gunny Fallon, USMC

From The Virtual Wall: The four other men mentioned by Gunnery Sergeant Fallon are

  • Mike Kilroy - Captain Michael W. Kilroy, US Army, MACV Advisors, KIA 19 May 1966
  • Ralph Valt - Lance Corporal Ralph W. Valt, H Btry, 3/11 Marines, KIA 22 Dec 1966
  • Danny Thompson - Sergeant Daniel F. Thompson, 196th Infantry Brigade, KIA 23 May 1968
  • John Dalton - PFC John Dalton, Delta 3/8 Infantry, KIA 30 Sep 1968

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 09 Jan 1999
Last updated 08/10/2009