2nd Platoon – Alpha Company, 4th/47th Battalion, 2nd Brigade

Richard Grambo at Fort Riley’s
Custerhill Barracks during the
Summer of 1966.

Remembering Richard Grambo
by Frank Raj � February 24, 2013

I first met Rich Grambo at Fort Riley, Kansas, in May 1966 when I walked into our Alpha Company barracks.  This guy blurted out to me, “Hey you old puss” and I said, “Hi old man” and we laughed. From then on we became buddies throughout the remainder of 1966 while completing Basic Training and Advanced Infantry Training.  Then, we shipped out to Vietnam in January 1967.

On June 19, 1967, while on a battalion size search and destroy operation near Ap Bac Village in the Mekong Delta, Rich and his fire team was on point  and our whole company was crossing a large rice paddy when all hell  broke lose.   A major Viet Cong force was entrenched in an adjoining tree line and they abruptly began hitting us hard with heavy automatic weapons and mortars.

It seemed like hours went by before Rich was able to work his way back to my position behind a low rice paddy dike. I was so happy to see him alive. I didn’t realize it at that point but we were to lose 31 of our fellow soldiers that day and many, many more wounded. Around dark time we tried to get our wounded pulled back but the VC opened up on us again and I took a bullet to the head � after that I don’t remember too much.   I do know that my buddy Rich took care of me and helped me get out of there and for that I will never forget Rich Grambo.

After recovering somewhat at a hospital near Saigon, I was sent to Walter Reed Hospital and one day a nurse told me that I had a phone call and I was amazed to hear Rich. He said, “How are you old puss”, and we laughed.  Once again I was so happy to hear his voice and to know that he had made it safely out of that June 19th Battle. I told Rich that I was okay and asked how the heck did he find me� he said that he searched and searched and was bound and determined to see that I was okay.

That’s Rich for you and from that day on we were best friends and so it was for the next forty five years  I am very thankful to have such a good friend like Richard Grambo and I will never forget him.

He will always be remembered�

Your best friend,
                               Frank Raj

Here’s Richard prepared for bivouc
in the scenic plains of Fort Riley.
I thought learning to fire bazookas
was the coolest part of our infantry
training at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Digging fox holes was a complete drag!
Firing an M60 Machine Gun was pretty cool too.
Not gonna guess what’s goin’ on here. . .
Richard checkin’ his cool wall locker stuff.
In a Navy barrack ship
sleeping quarters down
in the Mekong Delta in
between patrols.
Life in the Mekong Delta with Alpha Company and the
Mobile Riverine Force.
Here’s Richard walking the Dredge pipeline at Dong Tam
in approximately May 1967.
Buck Sergeant Richard Grambo between patrols in the treacherous Mekong Delta.