ROBERT FRANKLIN MELTON JR
In the sunlit springtime of our youth.
Those who did not come back alive remain
in perpetual springtime -- forever young --
And a part of them is with us always.
Always Remembering my Classmate and Friend, Bobby
Remembering An American Hero
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
Crash Information on U.S. Army helicopter CH-47A tail number 66-00072
Crew included CW2 Robert G. Strange (KIA), CW2 AJ Bottom (KIA), SP5 Kenneth W. Teeter (KIA), SP4 Thomas J. Harty (KIA), and SP6 Herman L. Gurr (KIA). Passengers on board were PFC Raymond C. Jackson (KIA), MAJ Ralph D. Cordell (KIA), SP4 Robert F. Melton (KIA), SP4 Roger A. Hites (KIA). For unknown reasons, the main fuselage inverted, possibly due to a blade separation after leaving Can Tho. The aft pylon and cockpit portions separated from the main fuselage. Analysis revealed that the aft synchronizing shaft was installed reversed and that the aft green blade failed in fatigue at a point 14 feet 3 inches from the center of the hub. The blade loss might be due to a strike by an unknown object. Crash resulted in 9 fatalities with no survivors. [Taken from vhpa.org]