The Wall of Faces

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ROBERT LEE CURLEE JR


is honored on Panel 2E, Line 4 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • Final Mission of SSGT Robert L. Curlee Jr.

    Posted on 6/29/15 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org
    On May 25, 1965, Special Forces Detachment A-342 was airlanded at Dong Xoai, a district capital of Phuoc Long Province, through which the Viet Cong supply lifeline from Cambodia into War Zone D tracked. The Special Forces Detachment, together with Navy Seabees, built a camp and among other duties, assumed the MACV subsector role for Don Luan district. Intermittent Viet Cong mortar rounds lobbed into the new camp, and were considered only the usual harassment, but sightings of large VC formations nearing the town increased. At 2310 hours on the night of June 9, CIDG teams around the camp's perimeter were silenced by the 762nd and 763rd VC Regiments. There was no opportunity to warn the camp, and only a few survived. At 2330, the camp was heavily mortared, and came under a heavy ground assault. The camp was overrun, and most of the CIDG and LLDB withdrew. At the camp, 2LT Charles Q. Williams, seriously wounded, was directing the defense of the compound with singular valor and would later be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions at Dong Xoai. Before South Vietnamese relief forces could arrive, a team of advisors was sent in from Than Son Nhut, where MACV was headquartered. The team was aboard a UH-1B helicopter from the 188th Aviation Company flown by LT Walter L. Hall. The crew consisted of co-pilot WO Donald R. Saegaert, crew chief SSGT Joseph J. Compa Jr., and gunner SGT Craig L. Hagen. The advisors from MACV Special Detachment 5891 were medic SSGT Robert L. Curlee Jr. and advisors CAPT Bruce G. Johnson and SFC Fred M. Owens. When the helicopter was disembarking troops on a plantation landing zone, it came under heavy mortar and small arms fire. The helicopter took off and started a climbing turn. Upon clearing some buildings left of the landing zone, the helicopter went into uncontrolled flight and in crashing, skidded into some parked vehicles and burst into flames. A circling pilot immediately established radio contact with Johnson, who stated that he was standing by the downed helicopter, and that the crew and other two advisors with him were dead. He reported that the situation was very bad - not to send anyone else in. Johnson stated that he was under heavy fire, and two mortar shells were subsequently seen to land in his vicinity. A subsequent search of the crash site was conducted when the area was resecured (on June 15), but no American remains were found, nor was Johnson seen. Villagers in the area reported that an American had been captured on that day, but no verifiable information has surfaced since that time. Villagers also stated that the Viet Cong had carried away the bodies of 7 Americans and had buried them. A captured Viet Cong film entitled "Dong Xoai in Flames" pictured the bodies of five or six Americans as well as several crashed helicopters. One of these helicopters bore the serial number 38557. The name tag "Owens" and the last two letters of another name tag, "ll" (possibly Hall's) are shown in the film, lending some more credence to the report that the Viet Cong took possession of the aircraft and that all aboard were killed. [Taken from pownetwork.org]
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  • Remembering an American Hero

    Posted on 6/10/13 - by Curt Carter ccarter02@earthlink.net

    Dear SSGT Robert Lee Curlee Jr, sir



    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.



    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.



    With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir



    Curt Carter


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  • We Remember

    Posted on 2/28/11 - by Robert Sage rsage@austin.rr.com
    Robert has a military marker in his memory at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
  • Photo

    Posted on 5/3/10
    Photo
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  • Not forgotten

    Posted on 6/10/05 - by Dave Kruger, 196th LIB. 66-67
    Robert, Although we never met, I just want you to know you are not forgotten. You gave the ultimate sacrifice, your life for what you believed in. Sleep well my friend, and thank you for protecting the freedoms we have today.
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The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.

All of these photos will be showcased in The Education Center at The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten, visit www.buildthecenter.org.