Remembering An American HeroPosted on 8/15/16 - by Curt Carter firstname.lastname@example.orgDear SGT Robert Eugene Whitten, sirMORE
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, Sir
Final Mission of SGT Robert E. WhittenPosted on 8/3/16 - by email@example.comOn May 7, 1968, a long-range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) from E Company, 52nd Infantry, 1st Cavalry Division was inserted in the vicinity of Nui Bai Cay Tat Mountain, approximately 6 miles south Of Phong Dien, Thua Thien Province, RVN. That evening the LRRP team whispered over the radio that enemy soldiers were within range and there was a lot of movement, the size of the force uncertain but too many in the same area for the team to move. At 1234 hours on May 8th, a reaction force from 2nd Platoon, B Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry was airlifted to the area and instructed to link up with the besieged LRRP team after they reported being in heavy contact with the enemy. The reaction force came under heavy automatic weapons fire after getting on the ground, resulting in six U.S. wounded. The platoon succeeded in linking up with the LRRP team during the night. Continuous illumination over the battle area was provided by Air Force flareships. Helicopter gunships, aerial rocket artillery, and artillery were employed to assist the platoon throughout the night. The following day, May 9th, 2/B/4-31 remained in sporadic contact with the enemy. A Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry was combat assaulted into the area and was told to move overland to link up with 2/B/4-31. This was accomplished at 1044 hours. The members of 2/B/4-31 were extracted and moved to Camp Evans while A/4-31 continued operations against the enemy force. Two members from the LRRP team were killed during the battle, SP4 Gerald W. McConnel and SGT Robert E. Whitten. Four members from B Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry were also lost: CPL Jimmy R. Brown, CPL Terrance A. Kandler, PFC Russell W. Jarick (a medic from Headquarters Company), and CPL Jimmy R. Wheless. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and vvmf.org]MORE
Long Range Reconnaissance PatrolPosted on 4/25/13 - by firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, April 7, 1968. At LZ Stud waiting our patrol at Khe Sanh. Corporal Dish, our Montagnard front scout, is in foreground; then me; our medic, Bruce Cain; and lastly my hootch mate and assistant team leader, Bob Whitten, who volunteered for Vietnam while serving in the Berlin Brigade. On that patrol we were nearly killed by a stray artillery shell; had a tiger stalk us; and Cain, Whitten, and I almost fell 1,000 feet to our deaths when a helicopter hurriedly extracted us on long emergency ropes known as McGuire rigs and we collided midair. Once we finally got back to LZ Stud, Whitten, who had experienced the worse, said, “I know I’m gonna make it now, because if God wanted me he had his chance, so I must be on the bottom of his list.” Four weeks later, Whitten was promoted to sergeant, made a team leader—and killed in action. (By Dr. Robert Ankony) [From robertankony.com]
The longest night of my lifePosted on 5/28/12 - by Sgt. Bruce Eugene Cain LRRP@aol.comI had gotten in from a mission early that morning and was taking it easy, and trying to get back to my routine.. I was told Bob had gone out the night before for an insertion, with a new team. That evening I went by the como tent and could hear Bob's voice on the radio, there were whispers coming thru the speaker that gooks were within range, alot of movement, the number he was unsure of but too many in the same area for his team to move.. we waited for what seemed like hours...The CO knew what hill Bob was on and but held back untill he knew more...Not really wanting to go back out, I started getting my gear in order, praying for the best, but knowing the situation did not look good... I was with Pong when the word came to us Bob had made contact and the CO wanted two teams on a huey ASAP.. Pong and myself and three other LRRPS were still trying to load more ammo when our huey started lifting off... As we pulled away from the pad I could see another team jumping aboard another ship close behind..As we got closer to the area Bob's team was last reported being in, we could'nt see anything, it was past midnight and the thick bush made it impossible to land.. the door gunner told me they could not get us any closer and we repelled into the only area that was half clear.. No sign of the other chopper, no radio contact with Bob or anyone else, and we were at the bottom of the hill where the contact had been made.MORE
We moved up and down the hill all night and into the morning, not finding any Gooks or NVA and never making contact with anyone in Bob's team. We finally were pulled the next afternoon, not being sure we were even in the right area. On the flight back to the base, I kept hoping for the best knowing Bob would be waiting for me with a cold beer. Waiting for him to tell me 'well Bruce I waited for you but the beer was getting warm'. The news hit me like I'd been hit with a shot to the chest.. I had to get away, I was starting to cry, the guy I had pulled so many missions with, talked too for so many hours, was gone.
I have a picture of Bob, Dish and Pong that hangs over my desk. And even though it been over 40 years I can not bring that part of my life to a close.
As I sit here this Memorial Day and write this my eyes water up.
I will take the memory of Sgt. Robert Eugene Whitten to my grave, thank you for letting me write this.
A LRRP team member Bruce Eugene Cain
We RememberPosted on 6/24/10 - by Robert Sage email@example.comRobert is buried at Memorial Garden Cemetery in Ft Myers, FL. PH
For my brotherPosted on 4/11/10 - by Harry Whitten firstname.lastname@example.org
Though you are gone, you will never be forgotten by your family or your comrades in arms. God bless all that perished in that ridiculous war.
Never ForgottenPosted on 3/21/06 - by Bill Nelson email@example.comFOREVER REMEMBEREDMORE
"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you....and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.....Be not ashamed to say you loved them....
Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own....And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind...."
Quote from a letter home by Maj. Michael Davis O'Donnell
KIA 24 March 1970. Distinguished Flying Cross: Shot down and Killed while attempting to rescue 8 fellow soldiers surrounded by attacking enemy forces.
We Nam Brothers pause to give a backward glance, and post this remembrance to you, one of the gentle heroes lost to the War in Vietnam:
Slip off that pack. Set it down by the crooked trail. Drop your steel pot alongside. Shed those magazine-ladened bandoliers away from your sweat-soaked shirt. Lay that silent weapon down and step out of the heat. Feel the soothing cool breeze right down to your soul ... and rest forever in the shade of our love, brother.
From your Nam-Band-Of-Brothers
Gone But Not ForgottenPosted on 5/3/04 - by H. Whitten firstname.lastname@example.orgIt's been almost 36 years, but we think of you all the time. Thank you and all the others who died and served in that ridiculous war. Our politicians should bow their heads in shame at what they did to all of you.MORE
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.