BigWindow BackArrow top

Info Sheet - Robert W. "Bob" Kruse
Died 8 February 2020 - comments Glen Gouge and Tom Dooling

Bob Kruse came in as a 2LT Forward Observer for A Troop and was wounded. Became 1LT with D Troop as their Forward Observer.


Glen Gouge: When Bob Kruse was in A Troop as their Forward Observer he was wounded during what must have been one hell of a fight. A friend of his died as he was trying to administer first aid. After his hospital stay they sent him to D Troop to convalesce. Being one to not sit around he took to flying as observer on some of the recon missions, usually with Tom Smith. He was sending humorous emails for a while but had written very little. I was in contact with him during his last days in Hospice and let him know that we will honor his service on our website.


Tom (Sam) Dooling: Remembering Bob Kruse— I was trying to remember who gave me my nickname “Silent Sam” — and here this pops up. I believe Bob was the FO that worked with our Blues when I first arrived in country. I was a really quiet guy — and living in the Scout hooch, it was very noticeable — I believe Bob lived in the hooch (can’t really remember), but I know he was there often watching TV and telling was stories. He started calling me Silent Sam and it stuck — once I found my voice (so to speak), they dropped the Silent part and I just became Sam. To this day my first wife still calls me Sam as well as the folks from D Troop that I maintain contact with.


John Moore: Robert Kruse the A Trp FO was wounded and medevaced from A Trp on Aug 19th, 1968.
This was the big ambush on the alternate MSR during the Battle for Tay Ninh. Ambush was in the AMBUSH IN THE CAU KHOI PLANTATION, HIGHWAY LTL-26 7 KM EAST OF TAY NINH at XT311485 A Trp had 6 KIA's including the 1SG. In addition to Kruse two of the platoon leaders were also wounded and evac. Craig Peterson flew a bunch of the medivac missions on Aug 19th.

Aug 19, 1968 Log entry:
Summary: Culvert blown by VC/NVA on main MSR. Resupply convoy to use alternate MSR. Troop ordered to outpost alternate MSR and then move to Tay Ninh to reenforce Tay Ninh Base Camp. At 0937 hrs 2nd platoon and Trp HQ are ambushed on Hwy 26 in the Little Rubber by 2 battalions of the 275th VC/NVA Regiment. Lead tank hits mine and Trp Hq elements under heaviest fire. Ambush is about 1 mile long. NVA in fallen trees from Rome Plow operations. 3d platoon leaves outposts to assist Trp Hq elements. 3d platoon place fires on enemy positions to the north of road. A number of vehicles have fired basic loads of ammo and are using small arms. 3d platoon secures the wounded pulls back to regroup and calls in medivac. 1st platoon is last platoon moving towards ambush. Helicopter lands on road in front of lead tank of 1st platoon. Instructs them not to enter the kill zone. 1st Bn 5th Mech sent to assist A Troop. (1st Bn, 5th Mech Inf 1968 narrative) A Co 1/5th Mech links up w/A Troop. Air strikes and artillery called in thoughout the day long battle. Battle lasts until 1745 hrs. 1SG Veara, SGT Hodges, SGT Kever, & PFC Sexton are KIA. SP4 Langford, a medic is KIA treating the wounded. (see "Remembering August 19, 1968" by Gene Yonke) Sweep of area finds 34 NVA dead and assorted weapons. 1st platoon establishes platoon position at intersection of Hwy 26 & Hwy 239. At 1600 hrs 1st platoon moves towards Dau Tieng to link up with B Co. 1/5th Mech on Hwy 239 who is in heavy contact. Command and control has broken down and NVA are in the B Co positions. SSG Jenkins, acting 1st PLT ldr, gets B Co. APCs on 1st platoon frequency and moving towards Dau Tieng. (see narrative by Bob Schneider, 1st Platoon) Enroute to Dau Tieng column starts receiving fire at 1823 hrs and at 1843 hrs receives rpg fire at grid XT456449. Attacking unit is the 33rd VC/NVA Regiment. As both units fight their way east four B Co APCs and two 1st platoon tanks are hit. 1 tank and 1 APC are too damaged to be towed and are abandoned on the road Artillery and gunships place fires on enemy and unit arrives at Dau Tieng Base Camp at 2050 hrs. 1st platoon has 1 KIA, SP4 Roy Harbaugh, and 13 wounded. B Co 1/5 Mech has 9 KIA and 43 wounded.