Robert Francis Scherdin

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
14 February 1947 - 27 November 1978
Somerville, New Jersey
Panel 35W Line 006


Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign


The database page for Robert Francis Scherdin

21 Dec 1998


by Shannon

07 Oct 2006

Please, if you have any information to add to this e-mail me. I still wear his bracelet and my mother wore it before me ... we would both like to know of any additional information.

Tempe, Az

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 29 Dec 1968 a 10-man reconnaissance patrol was inserted into Cambodia in the tri-border region where South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia meet. The team was made up of two American Special Forces soldiers and eight Montagnard soldiers. The team leader broke his team into two sections, going forward with four Montagnards while leaving then-PFC Scherdin in charge of the rear section. Shortly thereafter, as the rear section moved forward to rejoin, both sections came under heavy attack by NVA troops.

Scherdin was badly wounded immediately and was unable to stand. Enemy pressure forced the four Montagnards to withdraw, leaving Scherdin behind. After a running battle, the forward section was able to break contact and were extracted by helo. The four men from the rear section were extracted separately.

On the 30th, a 40-man Bright Light team was inserted to search for Scherdin. They too were attacked by a superior force and forced into a 3-1/2 hour battle. Less than half the force survived to be extracted. The dead included the team leader, 1st Lt. James R. Jerson. The other American, SFC Robert Howard, survived and eventually was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

In January, a small Montagnard force was inserted, remaining in the area for four days before being extracted. However, all four men involved died in a post-extraction helicopter crash before they could be debriefed about what they found. No further efforts were made to locate PFC Scherdin or the missing members of the Bright Light team.

Because there was no positive evidence of his death, Scherdin was classed as Missing in Action. He was continued as MIA, and promoted 3 times, until 27 Nov 1978, when the Secretary of the Army approved a Presumptive Finding of Death. His remains have not been repatriated.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 17 Dec 1998
Last updated 08/10/2009