Richard Allan Schaaf

Sergeant Major
Army of the United States
30 December 1929 - 08 August 1966
Baltimore, Maryland
Panel 09E Line 117


Silver Star

Combat Infantry

Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Richard Allan Schaaf

05 Feb 1999



Command Sergeant Major
Headquarters & Headquarters Company
7th Cavalry Regiment 1st Cavalry Division
United States Army
KIA 08 August 1966
Ia Drang Valley

Command Sergeant Major Schaaf had completed his first tour in country on 10 March 1966. He then extended for six more months. He had been with Advisory Team 70 when he first came to Vietnam. He was assigned as Advisor to 3rd Battalion, 8th Regiment, 5th Infantry Division, ARVN.

On 14 October 1965 during a search and destroy mission Command Sergeant Major Schaaf's unit sustained a number of casualties. Helicopters had difficulty landing to evacuate the wounded due to heavy rain and limited visibility. Command Sergeant Major Schaaf, disregarding enemy sniper fire, took a flashlight and signaled helicopters to a safe landing zone to evacuate the wounded. He did not leave the perilous location until the last wounded soldier had been evacuated. For this action he was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor.

In July of 1966 Command Sergeant Major Schaaf was assigned to Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. On 08 August 1966 he volunteered to accompany his friend Platoon Sergeant Francisco Roig and his third platoon into the Ia Drang Valley near the Chu Pong Massif during Operation Paul Revere II. Soon after noon "A" Company made contact with a large enemy force. The third platoon was on point and made the initial contact with the NVA. They aggressively pursued and were immediately hit by several enemy heavy and light machineguns, cutting them off from the rest of the company. The medic was one of the first to be wounded and Command Sergeant Major Schaaf and Platoon Sergeant Roig began to give him aid. The medic was hit a second time and was killed. The third platoon attempted to make it back to link up with the rest of the company, aided by several individual acts of heroism. Command Sergeant Major Richard Schaaf was killed while exposing himself to enemy fire to cover the withdrawal of those pinned down and wounded. Platoon Sergeant Francisco Roig led the platoon to safety while personally beating off several attacks on his beleaguered men. For their actions both Command Sergeant Major Schaaf and Platoon Sergeant Roig were nominated for the Silver Star. At the time of his death Command Sergeant Major Schaaf had been in the army nineteen years and six months. Platoon Sergeant Roig retired after thirty years service and lives in Fayetteville, NC.

Command Sergeant Major Richard (Dick) Schaaf was my cousin and friend. Though I only knew him for seventeen years before his death he is loved and missed to this day.

"Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends"

Anyone reading this who knew Command Sergeant Major Schaaf or Platoon Sergeant Roig is urged to contact me.

Ron Voigt

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 01 August 1966 units of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, were inserted into the Ia Drang Valley for a search-and-destroy operation named PAUL REVERE II. Although ample evidence of the enemy's presence was found during the first week, 1/7 Cav had little contact with enemy forces.

That changed shortly after noon on 08 August when "A" Company made contact with a large enemy force near Landing Zone JULIET. The 3rd Platoon was on point and made the initial contact with the NVA. They aggressively pursued and were immediately hit by several enemy heavy and light machineguns, cutting them off from the rest of the company. Most of the 3rd Platoon was able to exfiltrate back to the "A" Company perimeter, where the company found itself under very heavy attack. By 1500, artillery and air strikes had discouraged the NVA, which broke contact and withdrew into the jungles.

The price paid by "A" Company was very high - 25 dead, 36 more wounded. The dead were

  • A Co, 1st Bn, 7th Cavalry
    • SP4 Clifton E. Bennett, El Monte, CA
    • SP4 Judge Burroughs, Buffalo, NY
    • PFC Orrie J. Buskey, Champlain, NY
    • PFC Brian J. Clune, Scarsdale, NY
    • PFC Donald L. Corbin, Swedesboro, NJ (Medic, HHC with A/1/7)
    • PSGT Melvin F. Floyd, Amarillo, TX
    • PFC Charles R. Greene, Lake Ronkonkoma, NY
    • PFC David C. Hampton, Oklahoma City, OK
    • SSG Martis L. Haynes, Vanderbilt, TX
    • PFC Douglas W. Jones, Lowry City, MO
    • SP4 John J. Kolz, Thayer, MO (Medic, HHC with A/1/7)
    • PFC George E. Matuscsak, Kearny, NJ
    • PFC Alfredo Ostolazo-Maldonado, Santurce, PR (Medic, HHC with A/1/7)
    • PFC Mark E. Parker, New York, NY
    • SP4 Derek B. Pope, Alameda, CA
    • PFC Richard W. Power, Southwick, MA
    • SP4 Charles R. Powers, Thayer, MO
    • SP4 Richard W. Roy, New Britain, CT
    • SP4 Donald A. Sherrod, Knoxville, TN
    • PFC John H. Shetters, Cowan, TN
    • PFC Frederick Stafford, Philadelphia, PA
    • PFC Bradley H. Tate, Pearisburg, VA
    • PFC David L. Thorpe, San Andreas, CA
    • PFC Jack A. Welch, Chicago, IL

  • HHC, 1st Bn, 7th Cavalry
    • SMAJ Richard A. Schaaf, Baltimore, MD (Silver Star)
Available records indicate Sergeant Major Schaaf was the Battalion Sergeant Major rather than the Regimental Sergeant Major.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his cousin,
Ron Voigt

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 05 Feb 1999
Last updated 07/11/2006