Robert Carrol Wright

Second Lieutenant
Army of the United States
13 December 1947 - 02 January 1970
Elk City, Oklahoma
Panel 15W Line 121


Distinguished Service Cross


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Robert Carrol Wright

17 May 2001

Second Lieutenant Robert C. Wright was assigned to A Battery, 6th Battalion, 11th Artillery, but he served with B Company, 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry, as an Artillery Forward Observer.

In late 1969, 2LT Robert C Wright rescued one of the B Company troops, SP4 Joey D'Angelico, who had been swept away while crossing a river.

On 25 December 1969, B/4/3rd Infantry, began an offensive "search and destroy" mission in the coastal area around the small town of Duc Pho. Sizeable enemy forces were known to be in the area, and signs of them were everywhere, but little direct contact was made during the first week of the operation.

At 1400 (2 PM), 01 Jan 1970, B Company was directed to plan to take up a Night Defensive Position (NDP) in a location which would allow them to join with D Company not later than 0900 on 02 January. The Company Commander decided that the high ground of Hill 285 near Duc Pho would be suitable for the NDP. Bravo 4/3 arrived at Hill 285 before sundown and settled in.

At 2030 (8:30 PM) the enemy struck Bravo 4/3 with vigor, using mortar and ground forces. The battle raged through much of the night before the enemy withdrew at 0430 on 02 Jan. Although the NVA/VC force had suffered a major defeat and heavy casualties, seven Americans were dead and 10 wounded. Among the dead were both 2LT Wright and PFC D'Angelico.

Joey D'Angelico was my brother-in-law. I want to honor a man I never met, I want to thank him for all he did for my brother-in-law Joey and the other brave men in Bravo 4/3.

Robert C Wright

Second Lieutenant Robert Wright
received the Army's second highest award for valor,
the Distinguished Service Cross.

The President of the United States
takes pride in presenting the


posthumously to

Robert Carrol Wright
Second Lieutenant, United States Army Reserve

for service as set forth in the following


For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Second Lieutenant Wright distinguished himself on 02 January 1970 while in command of an advance party of field artillerymen establishing a firebase on Hill 285 near the town of Duc Pho. Late that night the hill came under intense mortar, rocket-propelled grenade, and small arms fire from an attacking enemy force. Lieutenant Wright immediately began adjusting artillery fire on the attackers, repeatedly exposing himself to the storm of incoming fire as he attempted to determine the enemy's exact positions. Moments after the hostile force initiated their attack, an enemy mortar round impacted near Lieutenant Wright and his radio operator, inflicting them both with shrapnel wounds. Despite his wounds, Lieutenant Wright continued to coordinate friendly supporting fire until sappers breached the defensive position and were advancing toward his position. Unable to engage the infiltrators with his damaged rifle, Lieutenant Wright stood out in the open and yelled at the intruders in order to draw their attention and fire to himself and away from the wounded radioman who could not move. Lieutenant Wright then led the sappers in a running chase over forty meters away from the radioman before he was mortally felled by their fire. Second Lieutenant Wright'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.

A memorial initiated by Joe D'Angelico's brother-in-law,
Dan Marvin
CMSgt, USAF (Retired), 1966-96, Danang 1968-69

27 Mar 2003

This page recaptures memories for me about Robert. I served in C Battery, 6th Bn, 11th Arty. Robert would sometimes come to the battery and he and I became friends. He was very knowledgable about many subjects. In fact, I still owe him a beer. We had a bet about who sang "At the Hop." I lost the bet, I said "Dion and the Belmounts" and he said "Danny and the Juniors." He invited me to "visit" him at his position and I was going to bring him a cold beer. However, I was unable to go to the field that week, and it was the week he was killed. I was stunned and shocked. Not only did I lose a friend, but I also realized that I could have been a casualty. I haven't thought of that moment for over 30 years. Reading this tribute to him rekindles my sorrow about his death. He was a wonderful, spirited person. He had so much to contribute and he did - the ultimate. I am honored to have been his friend.

Bill Biggs
Box 126, Axtell, KS 66403

30 Jan 2006

My fiance' was killed in the same battle as Robert and Joseph. He was on the Hill with them. After all these years I am finally just learning how he was actually killed. His name was Sp4 Frank Dunsmore, and if anyone knew of him I would love to hear from you. All of the men that night were brave. 36 years may have passed but the grief remains fresh. Frank was a wonderful person and touched so many lives in his brief 21 years on this earth. He was an artist, musician/singer, poet, mentor, friend, lover, son, brother, a brave and honest human being. We ALL miss him so. I will always keep his memory alive.

From Frank Dunsmore's girlfriend (fiance'),
Kathleen Christian

13 Apr 2007

Kathleen Christian or Don Marvin, if you see this please email me. I was The Commanding officer of A Btry, 6th Bn, 11th Artillery, 11th Infantry Brigade. Please email me at

From Captain Rodney J Kirk
225 Douglas Fir Rd, Ozark, Mo 65721

03 Jun 2007

Wonderful people of this site, my name is Mike Wright (YNC(SS), Retired). I am Lt Robert C. Wright's brother who has toiled over his loss all these years. I would enjoy any information from any of the families of the heroes killed on 2 Jan 1970 and would love to learn more about Bob.

From 2LT Wright's brother,
Mike Wright
721 S Holmes Street, Cushing, Oklahoma 74023

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Eight Americans died in the fighting on Hill 285:
  • A Btry, 6th Bn, 11th Artillery:
    • 2LT Robert C. Wright, Elk City, OK (Dist Svc Cross)

  • B Co, 4th Bn, 3rd Infantry:
    • CPL Tanner M. Brown, Van Nuys, CA
    • SP4 Joseph M. D'Angelico, Fort Edward, NY
    • CPL Gary L. Davis, Phoenix, AZ
    • SP4 Frank M. Dunsmore, Lanham, MD (medic, HHC w/ Bravo 4/3)
    • CPL Raul Garcia, Donna, TX
    • CPL Dallas R. Snodgrass, Brussels, IL
    • PFC Steven L. Green, Albert Lea, MN

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index W
OK State Index . Panel 15W

Contact Us

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 17 May 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009