LIEUTENANT ROBERT JAMES LAZARO was born March 29,
1947. His early years were spent in Trenton, New Jersey. 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.
On October 9, 1967, at the age of 20 Lieutenant Lazaro was killed with ten others during an assault on North Vietnams Army positions northwest of Landing Zone Mary Lou, Quang Tin Province, Vietnam. An intense firefight began and several men in his platoon were wounded in the initial fire. Lieutenant 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 had been on a search and destroy mission.
During this action he heroically, saving the lives of several of his fellow soldiers before being mortally wounded by small arms fire. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. The other men lost in this action were as follows:
For an extensive account of the battle in which Second Lieutenant Lazaro gave his life for his country and fellow soldiers, please visit the Alpha Company 1st Battalion 35th Infantry Regiment - OCTOBER 9, 1967 web page.
Second Lieutenant Lazaro was brought home and buried at Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly NJ on October 20, 1967. He was survived by his mother Marian, sisters Mary and Marian, and brother David Lazaro. His mother was active with the Auxiliary Unit of American Legion Stetser-Lamartine Post 281 in Glendora until her passing in 2001.
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AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR
1 TC 320.
The following Award is announced posthumously:
ROBERT J O5338301
SECOND LIEUTENANT United
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
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 at 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 expended 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 my enemy gunfire. Second
Lieutenant Lazaro's exceptional
gallantry is in keeping with the highest tradition of the military service and reflects great credit on himself, his unit and the
By direction of the President
under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved 9
MESSAGES LEFT ON THEWALL-USA
** Note that some of these messages are from years ago
I graduated from Infantry Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, GA with Robert Lazaro on March 7, 1967 and remember him to this day. I salute him and the other graduates from the Benning School for Boys who were killed in action in Vietnam. God bless him.
I served with Robert Lazaro and want to remind everyone of his service, his courage and his sacrifice. Late in the afternoon of October 9, 1967 our rifle company assaulted North Vietnamese Army positions on a heavily vegetated ridgeline. The North Vietnamese were in much greater strength than anticipated and the assault quickly became a desperate, mortal struggle. Robert Lazaro was a platoon leader, a second lieutenant. As fate would have it, he was involved in the attack of what turned out to be the strongest part of the North Vietnamese positions. Lt. Lazaros leadership never faltered. He acted with courage and his actions on that day earned him a posthumous decoration for gallantry in action. Robert Lazaro was a hero and my friend. I write this on behalf of all the men of Company A, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry.
From March 7-10, 2002 Class 14-67 (52nd Co.) of the Fort Benning Infantry Officer Candidate School will hold a reunion, 35 years after graduating as 2nd Lieutenants on March 7, 1967. Bobby Lazaro was a classmate of ours and will be honored on Friday, March 8, 2002, when those class members present will dedicate a brass and marble plaque at the site of our OCS barracks at Fort Benning. The plaque will be permanently placed in the ground for all those future officer candidates to see and contemplate the enormous sacrifice made by our 10 classmates and 2 Tactical Officers who were killed in action in Vietnam. Wives, parents or close relatives are invited to join the dedication if they find it possible. You will be welcome to also participate in the other events associated with our reunion. Anyone who would like more information should respond to my email address.
Thanks to Bob Koneful for his helpo in creating this page
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