ROBERT J LAZARO - 2LT
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- March 29, 1947
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- October 09, 1967
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Robert James Lazaro was born on March 29, 1947, and grew up in Trenton. He was a 1965 graduate of Triton Regional High School in Runnemede, NJ, where he enjoyed books, fishing and basketball. His family later moved to Glendora, NJ. His home of record is Glendora, NJ.
Lazaro entered the US Army and attained the rank of Second Lieutenant (2LT). He completed Infantry OCS at Ft. Benning, GA, and was assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.
On October 9, 1967, at the age of 20, Lazaro was killed in action by enemy fire. An intense firefight began and several men in his platoon were wounded in the initial fire. Lazaro immediately moved back to the main area of contact and then moved forward until he was in front of the wounded personnel. His effective fire kept the enemy pinned down long enough for the wounded and the dead to be evacuated. They were on a search and destroy mission.
Lazaro was posthumously awarded the Silver Star medal. His citation reads:
For gallantry in action while engaged in military operations against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. On 9 October 1967 Second Lieutenant Lazaro distinguished himself while serving as a Platoon Leader in Company A, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, conducting a search and destroy operation near Phuoc Son. When Company A made contact with a force of the North Vietnamese Army, an intense fire fight began and several men in his platoon were wounded in the initial burst of fire. Second Lieutenant Lazaro attempted to maneuver part of the point squad to the flank of the enemy but the heavy hostile fire forced him to withdraw. Immediately, he moved back to the main area of contact and then moved forward until he was in front of the wounded personnel. Second Lieutenant Lazaro stood up and began delivering intense and accurate fire on the enemy positions to his front. His effective fire kept the enemy pinned down long enough for the wounded and the dead to be evacuated. Firing constantly for a prolonged period, he expanded his ammunition and could no longer deliver fire for his own protection. Still under enemy fire, he moved back to secure more ammunition and again moved forward. Second Lieutenant Lazaro crawled to one of the wounded and dragged him back to a safe position, stopping only to fire back at the enemy. He was in the process of moving to assist and rally a group of his men when he was mortally wounded by enemy gunfire. Second Lieutenant Lazaro's exceptional gallantry is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit on himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Sources: Marian Lazaro Kline (mother), Fred Knight (high school classmate) and NJVVMF.
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