Robert Charles Peda

First Lieutenant
Army of the United States
30 October 1938 - 07 April 1968
Kingston, New York
Panel 48E Line 046

Distinguished Service Cross

Army Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, Navy Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Robert Charles Peda

28 Apr 2001

My uncle was always our hero, and that was before the war. He was the family favorite, the most likable person you could ever want to meet, young, good looking, and personable.

I remember sitting on his lap, laughing as he tickled me. I remember his smile. I thought he was the coolest grownup, and now I realize he was an incredibly charming kid.

I remember him in the Navy. I remember him in the Army, and then in the paratroopers. My clearest memories are finding out that he was going to Vietnam. We all cried. I knew he wasn't coming back.

I remember the day we found out he wouldn't be. There was a huge hole in our family that would never be filled. That day brought the realities of the war into our lives, and things have been different since then. It was a much poorer world without Uncle Bob.

He died a hero, trying to save his men from a burning helicopter. That's the type of person he was. His wife a widow, his children fatherless.

As the years have gone on, all in my family take great pride in his accomplishments, not just the hero we lost in tne war but the hero we had before the war. He missed out on so much life.

We miss you, Uncle Bob, and we will always remember and love you.

A great man.

Steven Schnebly

Robert C. Peda
First Lieutenant, Army of the United States


is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

United States Navy
Bob Peda with nephew Steven, 1958

Uncle Bob served in the Navy before receiving his commission in the Army.
Left, 1958, with nephew Steven Schnebly

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Two men of A Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, died when their OH-13S helicopter (hull number 63-13681) was shot down near the Lang Vei Special Forces camp in Thua Thien Province: 1LT Robert Charles Peda, pilot, and SFC Otto William See, observer. The Citation for 1LT Peda's Distinguished Service Cross describes the circumstances:

The President of the United States
takes pride in presenting the


posthumously to

First Lieutenant
United States Army

for service as set forth in the following


For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: First Lieutenant Peda distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 7 April 1968 as wingman of an aero-scout fire team that was engaged in reconnaissance of an area near Long Vinh known to contain many enemy positions. Lieutenant Peda located several of the insurgent emplacements and unhesitantly attacked them while being subjected to intense hostile fire. During the battle, Lieutenant Peda's helicopter was hit by automatic weapons fire, causing it to burst into flames and crash. He was thrown out of the aircraft as it hit the ground. Though badly wounded, he crawled back to the blazing wreckage to rescue his observer who was trapped inside it. Prior to reaching the aircraft, it exploded and threw Lieutenant Peda through the air, mortally wounding him. His courageous actions and determined efforts to save a fellow soldier's life were an inspiration to other aviators and troops in the area. First Lieutenant Peda's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009