ROBERT C TURNBULL - 1LT
- byram township
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- March 29, 1946
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- February 07, 1968
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Robert Chester Turnbull was born March 29, 1946. His home of record is Byram Township, NJ. He had a twin brother, William. Robert attended Sparta High School in Sparta, NJ, where he was on the track team and an honor student.
Turnbull entered the US Army where he attained the rank of First Lieutenant (1LT/01). He was assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division.
On February 7, 1968, Turnbull was killed in action in Binh Duong Province in South Vietnam. He was 21 years old. His cousin, Donald Scott, was also killed in Vietnam. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Turnbull was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. His citation reads:
For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Second Lieutenant Turnbull distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 7 February 1968 as platoon leader of an infantry company on combat operations near Ben Cat, When other elements of his company became heavily engaged by a numerically superior Viet Cong force, Lieutenant Turnbull led his platoon to reinforce the besieged troops. His force was hit by devastating machine gun and automatic weapons fire as it fought through dense jungle, and several of his men were wounded. After deploying his platoon in a defensive perimeter, he directed his troops to lay down a base of fire and then maneuvered to silence the enemy weapons. He located three Viet Cong firing automatic weapons and killed them with rifle fire. Bullets continued to sweep the jungle battlefield but he refused to halt his advance and moved toward an enemy machine gun. Coming to within ten meters of the weapon, he stood up and destroyed it with hand grenades, killing the six insurgents who occupied the emplacement. He was wounded by a second machine gun but continued his assault and circled behind the enemy fortifications. Disregarding his safety, he again stood up under a ravaging barrage and destroyed the position with hand grenades. As he threw the last grenade, he was instantly killed by enemy rocket fire. His gallant and selfless leadership in the heat of battle saved the lives of numerous fellow soldiers. Second Lieutenant Turnbull's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Sources: Various websites and NJVVMF.
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