ROBERT J BETZ
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HONORED ON PANEL 1E, LINE 88 OF THE WALL

ROBERT JOSEPH BETZ

WALL NAME

ROBERT J BETZ

PANEL / LINE

1E/88

DATE OF BIRTH

03/28/1945

CASUALTY PROVINCE

PR & MR UNKNOWN

DATE OF CASUALTY

02/10/1965

HOME OF RECORD

CLIFFSIDE PARK

COUNTY OF RECORD

Bergen County

STATE

NJ

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

PFC

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Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR ROBERT JOSEPH BETZ
POSTED ON 2.6.2024

Attack on the Viet Cuong Hotel - February 10, 1965

On the evening of February 10, 1965, the bachelor’s enlisted men’s quarters for the 140th Transportation Detachment (Cargo Helicopter Field Maintenance) at the Viet Cuong Hotel in Qui Nhon in Binh Dinh Province, RVN, was the target of a Viet Cong (VC) terrorist attack. At 8:05 PM, two VC killed the South Vietnamese guards posted outside the building enabling two more VC to place satchel charges at the main door. A 100-pound plastic charge destroyed the central staircase supporting the hotel. Lacking reinforced concrete or reinforcing bars, the four-story building immediately crumbled into a pile of rubble 30 feet high. Forty-three men were in their rooms or the bar on the ground floor when the blast occurred. Effective rescue operations were delayed until dawn after the VC took out the local power station causing a blackout. Without proper equipment, recovery of the trapped enlisted men moved slowly. Rescuers dug for eight straight hours while trapped men cried out for their mothers, putting some rescuers in tears while searching for them. One rescuer was awarded the Silver Star medal for risking his life crawling through the twisted wreckage as it shifted and settled. It took 35 hours before the last trapped American was taken out alive. A total of 23 GI’s were killed. All but one belonged to the 140th Transportation Detachment. The other was a Green Beret whose remains took six days to find. Special Forces Staff Sergeant Merle O. Van Alstine, on his third tour of Vietnam, was in the bar when the attack occurred. He reportedly engaged two VC on a motorbike with his sidearm seconds before the explosion. In addition, seven South Vietnamese women and children were killed by the explosion. The lost U.S. personnel included SP5 James B. Alexander Jr., SP5 Everett L. Anderson, PFC Paul E. Bays, SP4 Tommy J. Belcher, PFC Robert J. Betz, SP5 David N. Clayton, SP5 Clarence L Coleman, PFC Delmer L. Ferris, SP5 Glenn H. Kelley, PFC Dallas Lawson, PFC Larry B. McClanahan, SP5 Robert S Mosier, PFC Walter L. Rickard, SP5 Harry E. Rowley, SP5 Ernest M. Schultz, PFC Peter A. Semmer (died of injuries 02/11/1965), SP4 Robert L. Simon, SP4 Harry L. Summers, SSG Francis J. Valkos, SSG Merle O. Van Alstine, PVT Melvin L. Waters, SP4 Lavon S. Wilson, and PFC Floyd Wynn. All 21 of the surviving 140th members required evacuation stateside for their injuries. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and a VFW Magazine article by Richard Fournier (February 2015)]
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POSTED ON 8.22.2021
POSTED BY: john fabris

honoring you....

Thank you for your service to our country so long ago sir. The remembrance from Thomas Schwarz is especially poignant. May you rest in eternal peace.
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POSTED ON 8.28.2018
POSTED BY: Janice Current

An American Hero

Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. Thank you for stepping up and answering your country's call. Rest easy knowing you will never be forgotten.
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POSTED ON 8.6.2018
POSTED BY: Henry J Saito

I never thought I would survive the GWOT

Sam & Joseph. I won't forget you. They took down my first posting. I never thought I would survive the GWOT. Mary is dead now. Her suffering was great. I don't know what to do or who to turn to. I wish this web page was kinder to me.
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POSTED ON 7.25.2018
POSTED BY: Henry Junichi Saito

I became a soldier at 22. Uncle......

I hated teenager like you in my unit... because I love you. Mother is dead now. She suffered and it was painful. I suffer everyday uncle... I hear so many voice and I have nothing. I have lost everything unlce my mind, my wife, over 1 million dollars. My space project failed. I only have memories of you since I'm so broken now. I'll be with you soon I know now. It will be just like Samuel and Henry.
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