Robert A Van Ballegooyen

Private First Class
Army of the United States
27 June 1944 - 14 October 1967
Ireton, Iowa
Panel 28E Line 003


Silver Star


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Robert A Van Ballegooyen

28 Nov 2007

Pfc Van Ballegooyen has been on my mind for the last forty years. I remember his arrival in the unit. From the beginning, he had difficulty adjusting and I was asked to move him from one platoon to another. He was finally accepted in the mortar plotoon.

On the evening of 14 October our unit was ambushed by an NVA force. The enemy was very effective in using small arms fire. The battle went on for some time with reports of casualties. In an effort to provide close-in fire support, I had our single mortar engaging the suspected enemy locations.

The difficulty in maintaining our mortar fire was the fact that the mortar rounds were scattered around in the possession of whoever had been tasked to cary them. Pfc Van Ballegooyen continuously exposed himself to retrieve the rounds and in doing so, he was mortally wounded.

Pfc Van Ballegooyen demonstratated that he was not only fit to be a member of the unit, he was willing to give his all for his company mates. It was my honor to have him in my unit. It is also fitting that he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star along with the Purple Heart.

From his Company Commander.
E-mail address is not available.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The engagement on 14 Oct 1967 apparently cost the lives of five men from B Company, 2/12 Cavalry:
  • CPL Woody J. Frost, Maud, TX
  • CPL William R. Henry, Sunnyvale, CA
  • CPL Kurt B. Pearson, Deming, NM
  • SP4 John D. Williams, Butler, IL
  • PFC Robert A. Van Ballegooyen, Ireton, IA (Silver Star)

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 28 Nov 2007
Last updated 08/10/2009