Distinguished Service Cross
GROF, ROBERT L.
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Robert L. Grof (0-5513249), Captain (Armor), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Troop D, 3d Squadron, 5th Cavalry, 9th Infantry Division. Captain Grof distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 19 June 1967 as an aircraft commander during an evacuation mission for the 9th Infantry Division. Hearing an urgent radio request to evacuate over one hundred casualties from a heated battle, Captain Grof flew to the unsecured area and landed to load the wounded. Intense machine gun fire raked the aircraft and wounded him in the face. Despite the pain of his injury, impairment of his sight and a crippled ship, he successfully flew out of the area to a treatment center. Upon reaching the hospital, Captain Grof volunteered to stay in his aircraft and returned to the beleaguered unit for more casualties. While patients were being loaded, the helicopter was rendered inoperative by numerous additional hits, one of which wounded Captain Grof a second time. Despite the incredibly intense fire directed on his craft, he remained aboard to radio other helicopters in the area to move to a more secure area. Seeing another ship crash nearby, he rushed to the scene and made repeated trips through an open rice paddy to help the survivors to safety. He then recovered vital ammunition from the downed craft and established a perimeter defense. He and his men successfully repelled the enemy until medical evacuation helicopters could land and evacuate them. Captain Grof's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 3228 (July 8, 1968) ( http://www.homeofheroes.com/members/02_DSC/citatons/07_RVN-dsc/dsc_07RVN-armyE.html )
And then, four years later -
Name: MAJ. Robert Lester Grof
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 04/10/71 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 32.7
Date of Birth: 07/27/38
Home City: Lansing, MI
Service: AR branch of the regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: B/2/17 CAV 101 ABN
Major organization: 101st Airborne Division
Service: AR branch of the U.S. Army.