ROBERT L CROSBY
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HONORED ON PANEL 17W, LINE 9 OF THE WALL

ROBERT LEROY CROSBY

WALL NAME

ROBERT L CROSBY

PANEL / LINE

17W/9

DATE OF BIRTH

12/24/1943

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG NAM

DATE OF CASUALTY

09/26/1969

HOME OF RECORD

SOUTH HAMILTON

COUNTY OF RECORD

Essex County

STATE

MA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

NAVY

RANK

LTJG

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR ROBERT LEROY CROSBY
POSTED ON 3.1.2018
POSTED BY: Lucy Micik

Thank You

Dear LTJG Robert Crosby,
Thank you for your service as an Unrestricted Line Officer (Surface Warfare.) It is so important for us all to acknowledge the sacrifices of those like you who answered our nation's call. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 3.31.2016
POSTED BY: wkillian@smjuhsd.org

Ground Casualty

LTJG Robert L. Crosby served with YFBN-2, Coastal Division 13, Task Force 115, U.S. Naval Forces, Vietnam. On September 24, 1969, he was accidently shot aboard Swift Boat PCF-13 by a round fired from the rear .50 caliber Browning machine gun. The following is a detailed account of the incident: The distance (Crosby) was 3-4 feet (from the weapon). Also injured in the incident was LTJG John W. Hoeche. This occurred at about 6:28 PM. Crosby was on board as instructor, Hoeche and his crew as under instruction. Hoeche was injured by the muzzle blast but administered almost immediate first aid and comfort to Crosby and continued to do so until placed in a stretcher. The gun and expended shell were later examined at the Naval Armory on site. The gun was "in excellent condition" but the chamber was "badly corroded". The ammunition was "in a similar (green) corroded state". They thought "the round was in the chamber at least 24 hours prior to being fired". The firing mechanism and trigger release "pressure was normal". The base of the expended shell was measured with a micrometer and the outside diameter of the base was increased .005 inch compared to the next shell in line in the belt. This expansion was thought insufficient to account for it not being automatically extracted. Those examining the gun felt the expended cartridge failed to extract from the T-slot due to the poor state of cleanliness in the T-slot, lack of lubrication and corrosion on the base of the cartridge. It was also determined that the weapon was locked in elevation at 5 degrees and at 170 degrees to train. This would mean the barrel was pointing slightly above level, and aimed almost directly astern. The vessel was assigned to Crosby and Hoeche for a coastal patrol at about 5:00 PM that day. The officers and crew prepared the boat for a patrol. At 6:10 the crew removed the canvas cover on the rear gun 75% of the way. A crew member noted a belt of ammunition fed into the gun. The top cover plate of the weapon was unlatched. The crew was surprised that the belt with ammunition was fed into the gun. They noted two shells were inboard of the feed pawl. The crew did not look into the receiver. The belt was removed. One crew member attempted to pull the bolt of the weapon back with the cocking handle. He only pulled the bolt back 3/4 of an inch when his hand slipped on the handle and the bolt went forward again. The crew member changed his position and after wiping his hand, pulled again with his right hand but he slipped and hit the trigger with his left thumb, said a witness. The gunner said the weapon discharged as he started to pull back the cocking handle. The ambulance took Crosby to the 95th Evacuation Hospital, DaNang, about 7:00 PM September 24th. Then on September 26 he was transferred to the Third Field Hospital Saigon, where he died. PCF-13 had been used on patrol by another crew, the Zumwalt crew, on the night of September 22. The weapon was fired that night at a sampan. They towed the sampan and went out on patrol 3:30 AM the next morning and patrolled until about 11:00 AM that morning. The boat was returned to dock at about 3:30 the afternoon of September 23. The gunner for the rear mount left the weapon unloaded and his crew members back him up, especially his vessel commander. One crew member said the top door of the .50 was opened and the belt removed, the operator jacked the handle back, removed the round which fell to the deck. It was thrown overboard. They left the rear gun with one round of the ammo belt inboard of the feed pawl. The investigator's original conclusion was that the incident was not caused by the intent, fault, negligence or inefficiency of Navy persons. The second review of the report by J.J. Shanahan did not agree with this conclusion as did subsequent persons in the chain of review, but fault was never assessed. [Taken from swiftboats.net]
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POSTED ON 2.19.2016
POSTED BY: Tristin Ralph

To a Fellow Brother of SAE

I am a freshman at American University in Washington, DC studying International Relations and Political Science. In addition to being a student at American, I am also a brother in the SAE chapter here. Recently, as part of our new member education process, we were each encouraged to research the Vietnam War and find some brothers who had fought and died in it. I was fortunate enough to find Robert Leroy Crosby. Through reading about his life, I was struck with just how highly he was regarded by his peers and his family. He truly exemplified what it means to be a True Gentleman. He is a new inspiration to me, a man who I can strive to become as I strive to become the best I can be. He truly was a man of Minerva. Phi Alpha.
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POSTED ON 9.20.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter

Remembering An American Hero

Dear LTJG Robert Leroy Crosby, 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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POSTED ON 8.20.2013
POSTED BY: Sue Edwards, Legacies of Swift Boat Sailors (www.LSBS.org)

We Remember

We honor you today by posting a photo of you and remembering your bravery.
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