ROBERT F MCMANUS - CPL
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- January 30, 1947
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- August 12, 1968
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Robert F. McManus was born on January 30, 1947, to Mr. and Mrs. Frank McManus. His home of record is Wayne, NJ. Robert lived in Closter, NJ, with his family and moved to Wayne in 1962. Robert graduated from Wayne Valley High School in 1965. He was a member of the school's varsity wrestling squad. Robert attended Rockland Community College for a year and then worked for Wilson & Company in Paterson, NJ.
McManus was drafted into the US Army from his home in Wayne, NJ in September 1967. He attained the rank of Corporal (CPL). He was sent to Vietnam on March 4, 1968, and served as a reconnaissance expert in the Mekong Delta.
McManus was killed in action during a Viet Cong ambush on August 12, 1968, while his unit was en route to Dak To.
McManus was survived by his mother and stepfather, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Conklin, and five siblings, Gary, Phillip, John, Tina and Rene. Services were held at Moore's Home for Funerals in Wayne, NJ.
Robert "Farmer Bob" McManus was promoted to Sergeant posthumously. The promotion was in the works at the time of his death. He was buried in uniform with Sergeant stripes. His death was the final straw that prompted me to quit college (in my 4th year) and enlist in the Marines.
The day before his body arrived home, I sent Joan Weissmann of Packanack Lake (a reporter for the Paterson Evening News), a letter about Bob and a conversation we'd had the day of our graduation. She interviewed me and wrote a column about Bob based on the letter and the interview. It appeared in the Pat Eve News on the day of his funeral.
I remember the day his picture appeared on the front page with the announcement of his death. Right next to it was an article about a Wayne Police Officer suspended for having long sideburns. I thought the story was about Bob because I heard he had passed the test for the Wayne PD. He was drafted before a vacancy opened up though.
Reading the rest of the page was one of the worst experiences of my life...up to that point. Three other friends had been killed in Vietnam (Mike Kilroy, Ralph Valt and Danny Thompson) and another was killed less than two months later (John Dalton), but I was closer to Bob than to any of the other.
Written by Gunny Fallon (Vietnam Veteran)
Sources: Gunny Fallon (Vietnam Veteran) and NJVVMF.
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