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MAJ. ROBERT J. "MO" MOBERG
MAY 31, 2004, Memorial Day

cpt mo
INTRUDER 05, 1967
mo day off
AVN OIC DELTA 1967
1stAB AIRBORNE
plaque ribbons
huey sunset crew wings
 
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DFC, PH, Am, NDSM, VSM, VNCampaign

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ROBERT JENE "BOB" aka "MO" MOBERG
ARMY AVIATOR - SPECIAL FORCES SOLDIER
Died: May 31, 2004

Robert "Bob" Moberg was born in Centralia, MO on February 22nd, 1934. He grew up in the Kansas City, Missouri area and attended public schools in Hannibal, Missouri. Prior to joining the army on October 23rd, 1952, he worked for the Ford Motor Company and the A. B. Chance Company, both in the Kansas City area.

Following Basic training Bob completed Jump school and went on to rise to the rank of Sergeant before being commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant of the Infantry Branch upon graduation from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia on October 7th, 1959. Prior to attending OCS, most of his service had been with Special Forces units in the U.S. and Germany. From 1959 until 1963, his most notable assignment was with the 7th Special Forces Group located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. During this assignment, Bob spent most of 1961 as a Special Forces Advisor in Laos. On January 28th, 1963, Bob reported to Fort Rucker for fixed wing flight training. On September 17th, 1963, he completed flight training and was awarded the silver wings of an Army Aviator. Bob's next assignment was to Fort Lewis, Washington where he served in the 4th Aviation Battalion. In 1964, following a short stay at Fort Rucker for Caribou training. Bob then returned to South East Asia for duty as a Caribou pilot with the 92nd Aviation Company where he was awarded the Air Medal and the Bronze Star for Valor. He returned to Fort Benning in March of 1966 and in October was transitioned into rotary wing aircraft. On January 3rd, 1967, Bob returned to Vietnam and joined the 281st Assault Helicopter Company (AHC) (Intruders) with duty as a section commander.

MO, as he was affectionately and respectfully known in the 281st came with extensive Special Forces experience in South East Asia and as such he was the ideal Intruder to carry out the Special Operations missions of the 281st AHC. He was immediately assigned to the Bandit Platoon of the 281st as a section chief committed to B-52 Project Delta, a long range special operations unit of the 5th Special Forces Group. While serving with Project Delta, MO rose to the position of Platoon leader, Bandit 26, and subsequently served as OIC of the aviation task force attached to project Delta. Within the 281st and Project Delta MO earned the reputation of being a solid leader that could be depended on to complete the mission while caring for his troops. He led his men into battle and in so doing was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with V device, the ARCOM with V device and several other awards for bravery in combat.

On September 9th, 1967 Bob became the Executive Officer of the 281st AHC and on September 21st, 1967 he was promoted to Major. Major Moberg remained in this position until 8 February of 1968 when he retuned to Fort Benning to attend the Infantry Officers Advanced Course. Following graduation from the Advanced Course, Bob returned to South East Asia for duty with JUSMAAG Thailand and subsequent assignment to Laos as the Special Operations Aviation Commander. Bob documented some of his activities in Laos in his tribute to Ted Untalan, a fellow Intruder that served with him in Laos. (Ted has an entry in our DAT pages.)
Bob served in Laos until his retirement on October 31st, 1972 as a Lieutenant Colonel (LTC). Upon retirement Bob was awarded the Legion of Merit, The Meritorious Service Medal and the second award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. During his distinguished career Bob earned the Air Medal with 29 Oak Leaf Clusters. Mo's Special Operations experience included Project Delta (B-52), Project 404 and White Star.

Following his retirement Bob remained in Laos until 1975, flying for Continental Air Services, a US Contractor. He then returned to Thailand to serve as the chief pilot for the DEA operations in Thailand. Bob went on to serve in senior aviation and security positions in China, the Sudan and Kazakhstan. As a result of health problems he returned to Thailand to live out his life with Ott, his companion of 20 Years. LTC Robert Jene Moberg died on May 31st, 2004, after a long battle with cancer. He is survived by Ott his long time companion, his estranged wife, Rajanee of Las Vegas, Nevada and three children, who also live in the States.


IN THAILAND ON HIS 70TH BIRTHDAY



MO served with distinction in every position to which he was assigned and his performance of duty with the 281st AHC earned him the highest level of respect from those that he led, those he served and those he supported. Comments, responses and or postings may be sent to the 281st AHC Remembrance Committee at: intruder6@me.com. MO was a Life member of the 281st AHC Association and The Special Operations Association.

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Bob Moberg, LM of 9951 and well known SFA member, died early on 31 MAY BKK time in the hospital in Bangkok. He beat his prostate cancer but succumbed to lung cancer. Arrangements are pending and I understand will be lead by the SFA, with the VFW in support.

JJ KARWACKI
CDR 9951

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A Tribute from Tommy

Thamora Olina Moberg
Daughter of Bob Moberg
posted 21 September 2009

I would greatly appreciate if you would post this tribute to my father. It wouldn't be right if I didn't speak on my fathers behalf, who was not only a soldier, but a family man. Thank you so much.

Hi...My name is Thamora Olina Moberg also known as Tommy. I'm the daughter of Robert J. Moberg. I know it's been a few years but I'm now coming across with this tribute to my father. I want to start by saying thank you and I appreciate all the love and respect everyone has for my dad. I know that he is a great man. I love him dearly. I truly regret not being there at his memorial but I was not able to make it let alone no one told me my father was ill including himself until the memorial. I guess maybe my dad was protecting me from pain that he was going through. If I knew I would have been by his side but with all the pride my dad has I'm sure he would not have wanted me there. As the daughter of Mo and his blood running through my vain I wouldn't have cared. I would've been right there. But I have my own private memorial everyday. Everyone except my brother Patrick spoke on how my father was a courageous soldier and respected man. I would like to tell the story of a wonderful father. I may ramble because I'm probably going to cry my eyes out because this might just be my first time speak out regarding my father. So please bare with me.

My earliest memory of my daddy was back in Thailand where he named me Tommy short for that outrageously long name he'd giving me. Oh, he called me Tommy because he wanted a son. Man, I was also stuck with the Spiderman t-shirts, tube socks and curly pigtails. In the late 70's, I could've been around 4 maybe 5 years old waiting on my daddy to come home from work. I would wait not by a window but by listening for his copper colored stingray to come around the corner. The infamous Stingray! I can remember that sound to this day. Oh, how happy I was to associate that monstrous rumble and the smell of my daddy's cologne when he step out of his car. He was a tall handsome man; I remember thinking to myself looking up at him waiting for him to pick me up. Wow, he is so strong!

A year or so goes by and now were in Singapore. Now this is where my story begins. I remember my parents not being around to much because of their own issues. But that didn't worry me for my parents took turns spending time with me, especially my dad. I remember our time the most. He used to take me to all the Easter egg hunts, the trick or treats and Christmas parties and so forth at the American embassy. Funny how we would be there with all the other kids and their moms and I'm there with my dad. We had so much fun together. One day I broke my elbow jumping in to a pool and my dad was there to take me to the hospital. Man, it seems like any time I needed my daddy he was there. Years go by and now my parents are separated. Every other year I would switch off from my mom to my dad. No matter how old my dad was compared to other dads he didn't let our age gap stop him from being the best he could be.

I and my dad lived alone in Sudan for about a year and a half and I believe that that was the best time I had with my dad even though he hated Sudan with a passion. I remember my dad cooked dinner every single night and we would eat watching Apocalypse Now or Platoon. Then he'll tell his war stories and show me his battle wounds all over again. I never minded listening to his stories over and over because I knew how much it affected him emotionally. I would let him vent because that's what it seemed like he was doing only when he spoke with me. I never saw him this way with anyone else. My dad took me to school everyday, cooked dinner every night and made breakfast every weekend. He took me and picked me up from every school dance and asked did I have fun. We were in a softball team together and played on the weekends against the other Americans and the Marines. He took me to my firsts Marine Ball that year, I remember it was a beautiful night at the recreation site and we danced under the a moon that glowed of the Nile river. It was definitely a night to remember. And whenever I got in trouble at school he was right there to make it right. OH! I remember he punched my science teacher in the nose and he slid down the chalk board like those actors do when they get hit, it was straight out the movies. But he did it because my teacher made an unteacher like comment on my report card. I'll never forget that, so funny!

I always thought of my daddy as that man that no one could touch, and when I say that I mean it in so many ways, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Like I said he is a great man

Now a few more years go by and we're back in Thailand. I didn't understand why he was sending me of to boarding school in Malaysia at the time. But thinking back I totally understand. One, he didn't want me to go back to the states with my mom and he just wanted me in arms reach. At the time I was lost at that school and cried everyday for my daddy to come get me. He did after a few months but I still couldn't stay with him so instead of going to the states with my mom he sent me to my other dad, Uncle Ted. I missed my dad so much and I felt something wasn't right but I was only 12 and I didn't know how to express myself without being destructive. And that's when all hell broke loose. Then after that year my daddy finally sent me back to my mom. I remember hearing my daddy saying secretly to some one, I don't really remember who, but he said he wasn't sure if he was able to raise a teenage daughter at his age. I didn't know how to take this at the time and until this day I've regretted everything I did to make him disappointed. The last time I smelled his cologne, held his hand and gave him a hug and a kiss, was when I was sixteen years old visiting my dad on my summer vacation. I didn't know that it would be the last time I'd see him.

To make a long story short. He was a good, great father. He showed me the world and taught me life. I would never ever replace my dad with any one. If I had a son I would pray that he would grow up to be like my daddy. I know my dad is with me now holding my hand, taking every step that I take. I promise to him everyday that he will be proud of me no matter how my past has been. His presence when he was alive was strong and even though he has moved on, his presence is even stronger at my side.

I love you daddy and I miss you so much!!! You will always be the number one man in my life. I will get to hold you again soon.

Your one and only daughter, Tommy

Thank you everyone for taking the time out to read my tribute to my father. And I also want to thank everyone who was at his bedside. I'm sure that he needed the support and a smile. Also to everyone that was at his memorial and for all the tributes. It just goes to show what a wonderful man he is.

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From The Son of a Friend

My name is Patrick Jene Untalan. My father is Lucius T. Untalan and Robert Jene Moberg is his best friend and my favorite uncle. I came across my Uncle Bob's tribute page and I humbly ask if you could post my tribute to him.

I don't remember when I first met you, but I do remember my Dad telling me you're the first to hold me as a baby.
I remember when I'd come home from Tae Kwon Do, you'll be asleep on our couch. You would wake up and tell me to show you what I learned that day.
I remember you telling me, "Trick, do not fight just to fight, fight only for those that can't for themselves". My Dad said the same thing.
I remember when I came home scared because I beat up a kid at school. You laughed and told me, "Don't worry about it, I am sure the son of a bitch deserved it. Did you kick his ass?"
I remember your 60's Corvette Split window. My Dad is still mad that you didn't sell it to him.  I still have the picture.
I remember when we went to the airstrip and saw the paratroopers load in to an airplane. You asked me if I wanted to jump with them. I said "Yes!!"You turned to my Dad and asked him, "Who the hell gave him the great idea to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?"
I remember playing with Tommy and you would always buy us Toys.
I remember asking my Mom, "Where did you get that scar on your nose?" My Mom replied, "Your Uncle Bob broke it!!" My Dad would laugh hysterically.
I remember my Mom telling me that you and dad wanted to rob a bank. I asked my Dad years later why?. He'd laugh, "Because we could".
I remember following you and my Dad around the golf course, that's where I learned to cuss.
I remember waking up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water, and you two laughing and sharing stories. My Dad was happy when he's with you.
I remember the last time I saw you. You told me, "Tricko, take care of your sister." Sorry Uncle Bob, I tried and failed.
I remember my Dad reading Rudyard Kipling. The inscription in the book reads "To my brother Ted". I still have and read the book. Gunga Din is still ear marked.
I always asked, "Where did I get my name?" My Dad told me, "From RJ". Now I know.
In the 7th grade, I was told to write about my heroes. My classmates wrote about athletes, rich people, and movies stars. I wrote about you and my Dad.
The last time I talked to you , I never thanked you. The life lessons (and words) you taught me will be passed on to my son, Lucius Theodore Untalan II. 

Thank you.

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Air America

Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 03:20:09 -0400
From: Jeffrey Johnson <jttecjeff@compuserve.com>
Subject: Bob Moberg (Robert J. Moberg)/ MO
To all who knew him,
Bob Died this morning 31 May 2004
His body will be taken to Wat Chai Mongkol in South Pattaya and the hand
washing ceremony is this evening. He will be cremated on 5 June Saturday.
Again this is sad news and he will be missed by all
Jeff Johnson

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From: "Jerry Karwacki" <jjkarwacki@yahoo.com>

Indeed we laid MO to rest for the final time on 5 JUNE. I know that many others took pix, some better than the ones I was positioned to get.  I've polled for more.  (pictures)
In some ways I am sad to say the I did not know MO. In reality, I met him only a few times. Although he was a member of the Bangkok VFW Post since 1983, he lived over 100 miles south of BKK and rarely interacted with the BKK crowd in these latter days. Pattaya was the nearest VFW Post to his home but for reasons known only to him he remained a member in BKK. He attended SFA
meetings on occasion when they held a meeting of the "south branch" in Pattaya.

As a physician, I was asked to 'consult' and lend whatever assistance I could to help resolve a number of issues concerning Bob's health and TRICARE medical bills. Unfortunately (for me) the Bob I knew was old, frail and ill. It is inspirational to read the testimonies on the website you provided. I wish I had gotten to know the man YOU knew. Within a week of that visit to his home, he was in the hospital in Pattaya.

The doctors there correctly questioned the diagnosis laid on him by the docs in Bangkok. They had said his prostate cancer had returned, when in reality he had a new cancer from his lungs. Not only that, but it was one of the most aggressive cancers that one can have. Bob took the news hard but with the courage of the man YOU knew! I visited him in the hospital a number of times as he first awaited the news from the biopsy then opted to undergo the chemotherapy that the docs recommended. Ultimately that required that he be transferred to Bangkok, to a larger hospital. Unfortunately, after the first dose, his health deteriorated rapidly. He was unable to tolerate more doses. He had good days and bad days. He received a steady stream of visitors.

The SFA here was very supportive. Toward the end, he had to be sedated due to the bone pain from the cancer's spread. On a bit of a high note, a number of us banded together to file the necessary claims under the Agent Orange provisions. He wasen struggled with the decision of what to do. Finally, he awarded 100% disability for both the lung and prostate cancers consecutively. His estate is due a considerable amount of money from these delayed payments. Also of note is that Ott, his constant companion for his many years in Thailand, was with him throughout his battle with the (now cured) prostate cancer and his short war with the lung cancer. He died at dawn with her by his side.

In a completely different vein, Bob leaves behind a wife in Las Vegas. They were estranged but never divorced. She is the next of kin and legal heir to his estate. If you have a chapter or any contacts in that area, you might want to get the specifics from Don Ratcliffe and offer to assist her to secure her rightful due.

Again, I wish that I had had an opportunity to know the REAL MO of the 60s, not the older, frailer Bob of 2004.

Yours in Service to Veterans
JJ KARWACKI M.D.
COL(ret) US Army

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From: Al & PatJunko, (Al is deceased)
Intruder 06, 1966-67


I was saddened to hear the news of Mo's death. It would be difficult to find an officer better suited to lead our Intruders on any tough mission. His courage and character were always first class. I thank God I had a person of his caliber available during some very trying times. I know that anyone who knew the "real" Mo feels a great sense of sorrow at his passing. Beneath Bob's gruff demeanor was a very compassionate person who loved taking children under his wing. I take some solace in my belief that, despite the connotations of his funeral arrangements, the name "Robert Moberg" is listed in God's book as one of His beloved children. Al Junko

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Late at night on memorial day 2004, in Bangkok, Thailand we lost a great intruder and a dear friend. Mayhew Like many of the Intruder family, I lost a brother. This morning I had the sad task of informing one of our gunners that Major Bob Moberg has passed away. The day before we had exchanged "MO" stories for a few hours and he told me the story about how he became a Wolf Pack Gunner. This story typifies "MO" involvement with all us that knew him without regard to rank or position.  It seems that "MO and his crew were flying a Delta mission when they were shot down and this young gunner spent some time on the ground with "MO" before they were rescued. A few weeks later he decided that he wanted to transfer to the Wolf Pack and approached MO with his request to do so. "MO" informed him that he could go to the gun platoon if he could "whip his butt", a challenge that 19 year full of P&V, Joe Corney from Brooklyn consider to be right up his alley. The challenge was on and they proceeded to engage each other in the area of the sand bag revetments. In Joe's words, within seconds he found himself being used as a battering ram against the bunker. A few moments later "MO" let him up, gave him a hug and sent him to the Pack. My  friend Bob Moberg is one of the few men I have ever known who was truly a soldiers soldier and respected by everyone he touched. I for one have never heard an ill word spoken about this man.  It was my honor to promote him to Major and to celebrate the event with him for several days.  The picture of MO in uniform is that event and the smile on my face in the picture above reflects the tone of the event. 

There was a wonderful kind and honest side to this man. I saw it in the Sei eyes of the 19 year old crew members and pilots that we ask to risk their lives on a daily basis, I saw it in the young officers that we molded into combat aviation leaders over night, I saw it in the eyes of the folks who worked at and guarded the Villa and above all I saw it in the eyes of young Se, who Bob rescued from a village near Bong Son and raised and cared for as a son.

In the 281st we lived by the code that "we would leave no man behind" and now as we move into the senior phase of our lives we believe that " NO MAN IS DEAD UNTIL HE IS FORGOTTEN". In "MO" case it will take several generations for him to be forgotten. I for one will cherish and carry his memory with me for the rest of my days. He was my friend, we worked together, we fought together, we partied together and we respected each other. I always knew that If I were on the ground he would come get me and nothing would have stopped me from doing the same for him. No man could ask for more.

The 281st family has lost a giant and many of us have lost a friend that we could count on. Rest in peace old friend, you shall not be forgotten.
Jack Mayhew, Intruder 06, 1967-68

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From: PaMaBrs@aol.com
Don Ruskauff
Intruder 06, 1968

Have been off of the net for awhile but got the sad news about MO.  Of course I was not surprised thanks for your heads up but I guess I had hoped the diagnosis was wrong and maybe he would survive anyway.  I looked at the pictures of his funeral and read some of the comments regarding his death but I couldn't figure out how to add my feelings of great respect for him.  Am very tired tonight so I will revisit the site tomorrow and try again.
Don

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From: CUDMUDGEON <icihicpcl@earthlink.net>
Barc Boyd, Wolf Pack 36, 1966- 67

LAST NIGHT I LOST A FRIEND! HE DIED PEACEFULLY IN HIS SLEEP IN A HOSPITAL IN BANGKOK. HIS DEATH WAS NOT UNEXPECTED.   ALTHOUGH NOT BIOLOGICALLY, BOB MOBERG Barc WAS MY BROTHER. WE FOUGHT TOGETHER, GOT DRUNK TOGETHER, TRAVELED TOGETHER, CHASED PUSSY TOGETHER, AND AT ONE TIME HE AWARDED ME WITH A SET OF "MASTER MUFF DIVER WINGS", FOR EATING PUSSY IN FIVE DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, NOT COUNTING THE U.S.A. THERE WAS A TIME AT FORT BENNING, WHEN WE SPENT THE ENTIRE NIGHT PLAYING CROQUET AT BARNY GILL'S HOUSE. IT WAS A CHALLENGING COURSE WITH SAND TRAPS, ROUGHS, AND DRINKING STANDS EVERY TEN FEET. THE COURSE SURROUNDED THE HOUSE, AND THERE WERE FLOOD LIGHTS ALONG THE WAY. BARNY WAS AN 0-5 IN CHARGE OF THE BENNING PHASE OF RANGER SCHOOL. IT WAS JUST ONE OF THOSE MANY GREAT TIMES THAT WE SPENT TOGETHER!   

    I VISITED WITH BOB IN THAILAND SEVERAL TIMES OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, AND WE ALWAYS HAD A GREAT TIME TOGETHER, SITTING ON HIS FRONT PORCH SIPPING ICE COLD STOLI, AND SWAPPING LIES AND TELLING WAR STORIES. HAVING SPENT MANY YEARS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA, HE OBVIOUSLY HAD MORE TO TELL THAN I DID. HE WAS WITH SPECIAL FORCES IN LAOS IN THE LATE '50'S, AND THEN KEPT RETURNING TO FLY CARIBOUS AND HELICOPTERS IN VIETNAM AND THAILAND ALL DURING THE '60'S.   HE WAS A MAN AMONG MEN, AND ONE OF THE BRAVEST AND PROUDEST MEN TO EVER LACE UP A PAIR OF COMBAT BOOTS! I'M GOING TO MISS HIM VERY MUCH........
      OVER......
            BARC BOYD ..... JUST ANOTHER "OLD WOLF PACK 36"!

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Fred Mentzer, Wolf Pack 36, 1967-68

Robert J. "MO" Moberg passed away in Bangkok on Memorial Day 2004. How fitting to take off on his last flight on a day of national recognition for America's honored dead.  And how appropriate.

Along with all who knew him or had heard stories of his exploits, I was shocked and saddened to hear of Bob's passing.  I was shocked because he, as with his friend and comrade Chuck Allen, always seemed to me to be a cut above us normal mortals.  I mean how could a man like Bob succumb to a disease that effects ordinary people?  He could only have been ambushed.  Even then I'm sure he did not go peacefully into the night.  I have no doubt that he fought the Grim Reaper every step of the way because was a warrior.  He would not allow the enemy an easy victory.  None the less he is gone, leaving his friends and comrades with a myriad of memories and stories.  I'll try to recall some of my own from that time now more than thirty-five years ago!

A favorite fond memory is during Samurai II.  I'd taken over the Wolf Pack after Barc Boyd got shot and was occupying a GP Medium with Bob.  We each had a bunk and there was an extra for visiting VIP's.  Bob kept a "special" bottle of Crown under his bunk for when a particular visitor would show up, that person being Chaplain Grady.  The Chaplain would usually appear off of a re-supply C-130 whenever he felt it was time to visit the Delta heathens.  We never knew when that might be.  Bob would save up on raunchy jokes and get the Chaplain crocked in the evenings after chow.  I can still vividly recall the Chaplain sliding giggling off the bunk onto the dirt floor, bottle clutched to his chest, with Mo leaning over him rattling off one joke after the other!

There are other stories, many in fact.  But those are for another time, when we're gathered at Reunion's reminiscing.  One last thing.  I should mention the fairer sex.  Mo seemed to have an uncanny effect on the female of the species.  It didn't seem to matter what the age, race, color, creed, education or class.  They all, without exception, melted in his presence.  It was amazing to see.

There are many stories of his exploits as a soldier in combat, with the 281st, as well as in Cambodia and Laos after Viet Nam.  Most can be found on the 281st AHC website in a special section under Remembrance, DAT (Died After Tour).

So its farewell to a friend, a man's man, a soldier.  I look forward to the day when I can hopefully obtain a special visitors pass into Valhalla where I know he is, with other heroes past, to share a drink, tell some stories, have some laughs, and maybe even shed a tear.   Fred

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This is a story that MO wrote for the Web site a few years ago and we thought it appropriate to put it on his page. The Door Gunner he is writing about was 19 year old Joseph P. Corney, Sr of Brooklyn, NY.  It was to Joe that "MO" gave his now famous speech about dying for your country.

Shot Down with "Robbie"
by Bob Moberg

Eldon Smith
MAJ Eldon Smith

April 27, 1967.
The crew - Pilot: WO Kenneth M. (Ken) Johnson, Crew Chief: Dwight Smith, Gunner: Joe Corney (see picture below in Earl Broussard's submission ), myself in left seat.  The team on the ground had been  pursued  for 2 days. Major (Eldon) Smith was flying the C&C with "Bruiser". The Team could not find an LZ on the ridge line. The FAC spotted the team through small opening in canopy. [Joe] King went in and pulled out 3 members, 1 American and 2 Viets, by jungle penetrator and hoist under heavy fire and taking numerous hits. Bruiser and Smith called the aircraft off and ordered Robbie the Team Leader on the ground to "Get your Shit in order and find a safe LZ!" Robbie replied: "I got my shit in order I'm just looking' for that slick.  You promised that you would get us outa here."

Knowing the team could not defend itself for long with only 3 of them left I requested the C&C vector me to them as I hovered  down  the ridge with skids in the trees using the triple canopy for concealment. The C&C gave us directions. right 3 degrees, left 5 degrees, hold heading, etc. It worked. I looked down and there they were. Doc ran the hoist down full length. Over 200 feet. They couldn't quite reach it. I settled 'til the blades were just starting to clip the top of the trees as the gunner and crew chief reported receiving heavy fire. Doc reported Graves on the hoist. We couldn't move for fear of dragging Graves into the trees.

About that time I felt the aircraft rise as the bottom windscreens disappeared and the cockpit filled with blue smoke. My right leg was knocked left off the pedal by the buckled radio console. I am sure we were hit by a B40 rocket but can not confirm. The aircraft still at a hover started to drift left. As I tried to correct I glanced at Johnson's death grip on the cyclic. I screamed "I got it!" The aircraft still started drifting when I realized I had no cyclic or pedals. I made the decision to crash in the trees versus from 500 feet over the valley. I bottomed the collective and saw the brush spinning around us as the aircraft went nose down and then rolled upside down stopping about 6 feet from the ground.

I couldn't get the door open and screamed: "Where the hell is my gun!", when Doc poked me with his M16 from below and said "Here take mine and get the hell out of there!" I crawled out through the nose. Doc and Smitty were thrown out sustaining broken ribs. Johnson, the gunner, and I climbed out sustaining broken pride! Doc and I climbed back up into the aircraft to shut off the inverters that were still whining and Doc removed the M-60s and survival kit. I also found my Car-15. Graves came over and kissed me on the head and said, " I knew you'd come get me!"

Robbie came over and asked me if I wanted to take command and reminded me of the policy that as Recon Team leader he was supposed to remain in command. I gladly told him he was doing a fine job, to keep truckin', and asked him what he wanted us to do. Robbie assigned us positions and fields of fire in the ambush above a trail running well below the downed aircraft. Bruiser advised us by PRC 25 to stay put until he could find an LZ to send in a Platoon from the 93rd Ranger Battalion assigned to Delta for backup. I divided the water and ammo from the survival kit as Doc set up an M-60 above and behind me.

It became real quiet and as I lay there looking at my field of fire I heard Vietnamese jabbering and saw a man stop running about 20 yards from me looking away and down the hill. As he stopped the rest of his squad ran into him bunching up. I was expecting the rescue Rangers but realized the pith helmet and crossed harness looked strange. I glanced over at Robbie who was licking his lips and slowly taking careful aim with his CAR. As I looked back at the bunched up men in front of me the leader spun around. The red star on his helmet stood out like a rotating beacon. Seeing the Huey hanging above us he pointed and started to scream as my first burst hit him. As I was trying to change magazines I was aware of the constant M-60 fire over my head and numerous hand grenades being tossed into the now totally decimated squad of NVA in front of me. Robbie gave a pullback signal and I helped Doc carry the M-60 and extra ammo back up the ridge North of the aircraft where we set up a small perimeter defense in a clump of tall elephant grass.

As we lay there unable to see 3 feet in front of us we could hear enemy troops coming up the other side of the ridge and firing into the trees above our heads. One of the crew started shaking violently. Afraid he may start firing and give our position away I quickly crawled down to him, grabbed him hard by the shoulder and whispered, "Just remember, if you have to die, there is no better way than fighting as a soldier for your country." He shook his head yes and immediately settled down. I have pondered that moment in similar circumstances many times since and wondered what the hell prompted me to make such a statement!!! There ain't no good way to die!!! And if you're fighting for your life that is exactly what your fighting for! Not your country!

A few minutes later Robbie crawled over and told me the Rangers were in-bound and to follow him North. As we were pulling out we heard Vietnamese screaming back and forth at each other and then heavy firing to our front. Graves told me later that they were saying we are un-armed as he and the Viet Lieutenant opened fire on them. The Viet Lieutenant later told me they were saying don't shoot, we are out of ammo! I have often wondered if we could have taken them prisoner???

We kept moving and started sliding down the hill to the East away from the NVA. I could see Smitty having a problem carrying the other M-60 so I took it and gave him my CAR. We fought our way through the under growth for what seemed like 3 or 4 hours until Graves made contact with the Viet Rangers. The Rangers set up a blocking force and we passed through to a small LZ in a stream at the bottom of the mountain. A Marine CH-46 came in and I started helping everyone aboard. I stood there in a daze from exhaustion and adrenaline let down watching the ramp of the 46 being closed and trying to take off with some small saplings caught in the ramp. I realized I was NOT aboard when the aircraft settled back, the ramp opened and Robbie reached out grabbing me by the back of the harness dragging me in the aircraft like a sack of potatoes. We took off receiving a couple hits as the gunners on the 46 were firing in all directions. One of them even pulled out his .45 and fired out the window. I often wondered if he knew the Rangers we right below us. We landed at Dong Ha for refueling and inspection of the hits when I realized I was mostly naked from the waste down. Those cheap Tiger fatigues had been completely torn off in the brush. I have worn skivvies and two pair of "issue" pants on every operation since!

Bruiser
CHUCK "BRUISER" ALLEN
CMDR, DELTA 66-67

Slicks from the 281st picked us up and took us back to Phu Bai. Major Smith met me as we landed, put his arm around me, welcomed me home, and escorted us to the TOC for debriefing. After a short debrief Bruiser ordered us all to Marble Mountain for more debriefing, rest, to let the medics dig the thorns out of our asses and tape up Doc's and Smitty's ribs. I guess if we had brought back documents Robbie would have got the Silver Star instead of the BS w/V. I received a ACM w/V, the crew received an AM W/V, I think.

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(A follow on to MO"s story by Jack Serig.)

From: "Jack Serig" <jackserig@bellsouth.net>

When Bob Moberg finally wrote his story ""Shot Down With Robbie," I felt a sense of pride for I had sent him my version of the story, many years later, suggesting he re-write and edit my version.  In rather typical Moberg fashion he threw my story out calling it "fiction" but it prompted him to write his own story about the event which you can find in either the "Stories" section of our web site or in Bob's special tributes' Died After Tour (DAT) stories. Bob sent his revised version back to me and I sent it to the VHPA magazine where it was published.

But, the rest of the story has never been written to my knowledge.  So, here it is as I remember it:

When Bob and Eldon Smith returned to the Nha Trang villa, shortly after the shoot-down, those of us present at the villa congregated on the second floor in Bob's bunk room hear his and Eldon's first-hand account of what really happened. Their story then was the same as the one published years later in the VHPA magazine, previously mentioned.

The same night these two warriors returned from combat they imbibed in a few undiluted liquors of their personal choice in the villa living room with their villa mates. This drinking added to the adrenaline rush which they were still experiencing as a result of their close brush with disaster, i.e., the shoot down. Around ten to eleven p.m., Bob and Eldon felt an urgent need to relieve their anxieties. They disappeared from the living room for a time and returned shortly in their jungle fatigues, sloppy jungle hat and combat boots. Camouflage paint was added to their faces. No weapons! Bob and Eldon had determined that they were going to literally raise hell in the darker environs of Nha Trang. They were gone for several hours and by their own admission the next day they had gone to the red-light district which was too quiet and needed some merriment and activity. They told us how they had harassed the red-light district breaking windows, kicking in and pounding on doors and other juvenile actions.  And since they weren't detected and got home safely "all was well." It appeared to the rest of us in the villa that Bob and Eldon had expended the necessary bravado to help settle them back to "normal".

Not so! The two warriors had such a great time their first night out that they decided to repeat the activities the next night much to the surprise of their villa buddies. This included the alcohol swilling before the time of attack.  Our warriors departed the villa camouflage outfits intact. Time passed...... and passed...... and passed.  Our two heroes did not return

In the wee hours of the morning the phone rang. The call was for the commanding officer, Major Bill Griffin.  He alerted several villa mates to accompany him.  It seems the MP's had captured our two warriors as they rounded a dark corner in the red light district and found a MP with his loaded .45 caliber pistol pointed at their noses. They went to jail.  Thus, the phone call. Some time elapsed before Major Griffin returned with the dare-doers after explaining to the MP's the reason for such exuberant celebration. Damages to the whore-house shacks were paid for by our two celebrities.

Thus ended another saga in the always exciting life of "Mo".

Jack Serig, Sr., 16 and 05, '66-'67

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From: "Earl Broussard" <wolfpack281stahc@msn.com>

Earl & Joe Major MO touched the lives of a lot of young guys in 1967.  Good Leaders always presented themselves as someone to be in charge and the young troops under them & around them were in awe of them.  MO didn't demand anything from the people around him but he was viewed by many of us, as many of the officers that were the heart of the unit, as a guy that would never let you stay behind because you were somebody other than a PVT Nothing.  He and Barc roamed the flight line at Phu Bai and just chatted with the crews and asked simple questions like "Is all this shit going to get off the ground when we pull pitch?"  Now still being a PFC and being confronted by a Major and a Captain, all I could do was smile and say, "YES SIR!"  I guess it was the right answer because they just kind of grunted and sauntered off into the sunset.  Hell, I never was introduced to Major MO, being a PFC, but I asked who is that guy and was told that was Major MO, Bandit 26, OK, I didn't want to be viewed as stupid so I kept my mouth shut, hell, I didn't even know what a Bandit 26 was.  Most of the time we just saw you guys that were our leaders and for the most part if we stayed out of your face, we all felt that we were staying out of trouble if we weren't in front of you guys.  We knew what your voices sounded like on the radio and listen intently for what was going on during the flight.  I felt ten feet tall and bullet proof having being picked to crew a gun ship and that height would even stretch further when Wolf Pack 36 climbed aboard and flew my bird.  We all owe our lives to people like Major MO, Captain Boyd, Captain Mentzer, Mr. Ham, and Major Mayhew.  You know why I remembered your names all these years?  It was because you came by the flight line, at FOB & Nha Trang, and let us know that we were alive and you valued that and some even helped rearm.  A lot of officers just got in the aircraft and cranked & off we went, and the GIB were there to hold M-60s and keep the import folks up front from being shot at from the rear of the aircraft.  Those guys always had a chin bubble full of brass, and wanted mosquito webbing secured around his seat or the have the CE sit on the right side of the bird and still had a double load of brass in his chin bubble when the CE would invert his 60 and the gunner now sitting in the CE seat would also aim his brass at the A Hole in the right seat.  Sooner or later that person would just stay away and screw with someone else.  We had only one of those, everyone else had no brass in the chin bubble, maybe a few by honest accident.  I guess there is always the 1%, mainly everyone else was in the 99% pool.

What I'm trying to say is I'm going to MISS Major MO, but I relish the friendships with people of the 281st family.

Earl Broussard

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From: "Wetmore, Harry" <hwetmore@natspin.com>

I have been out of the country for 10 days and just got this email. I am sad  to hear about "MO". He was a good officer and great guy. I have fond memories of him both in the field with Delta and at "The Villa". He will be missed.  Harry

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From: Brent Gourley <bgrly@comcast.net>

A great loss. We shall all miss him. Back in early '67, Delta was not a Rat Pack regular task. Rat Packers would be sent "tdy" to help out.  I was his copilot on the several missions to search for and to drop supplies to Corky's crew on the floor of the Aschau; and other quiet but memorable live hoist mission.  Upon my departure from a month of such duty, it was Mo who came to the aircraft to shake my hand and say thanks.
Not to be forgotten.  Brent.

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Welcome Home Sir.
SP5 Jim Boyle, 499th Sig Det.

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From: "Rick Galer" <ragcon@msn.com>

"....And with the help of Moberg's Guns, we're keeping Charlie on the run...." Line from a song written by a Project Delta guy. Moberg was a deity when I joined the 281, never met him, but I was inspired by him then and still am to this day. Amazing man. He set a standard that we all strived to reach on every mission. His courage and professionalism were legend. I am so proud to have been touched, if ever so lightly by his shadow. He was a member of the group that many of the guys I flew with called "The old ones", the guys that wrote our book.

May 31st will always mean something more to me now.

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Barc,

I too feel the loss of Bob Moberg. I had heard of him while in Nha Trang from Ted Untalan. Later while visiting Ted in Bangkok I met and had the honor of listening to those two warriors reminisce. As you know my son is named after Ted. It could not be more fitting for Bob to join Ted on this day of remembrance. The wheel turns as the Buddhists say. The sacrifices made by such men during the mid 20th century are at last being remembered and honored.

I have a 10 Baht chain which Ted brought to me during the Iranian Revolution. He handed it to me in the middle of Teheran with sporadic firefights breaking out. Later, on a visit to Bangkok he presented me with a Buddha which I had mounted in gold. Bob was present. I wear it to this day. The wheel turns. My son Justin reports for active duty this Wednesday, June 3rd. After basic at Ft. Jackson, SC he is slated for 16 months at Ft. Eustis to become a helicopter mechanic.

He knows of Ted and Bob as well as all of our unit. Today he will know of Bob's passing. The path he has chosen makes me most proud. In the not so distant future he will have made friendships and bonds with his own Brothers in Arms. At the point where he appreciates what we share I will present him with that chain and Buddha.

The Comanche's would pitch their teepees facing the rising sun. Upon emerging in the morning they would face the rising sun and utter the words Hoka Hey! Which means "It is a Good Day to Die." I know Bob and Ted would understand and concur.

DCD
Ratpack 13

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From: Vladimir Mohar
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 3:57 PM
Subject: june1200.JPG

Larry and guys,

Dug up this old pic in memoriam to Bob 'Mo' Moberg, probably taken in late 1954-1955 outside one of the entrance doors below the Hq's at Flint. Left to right are me, Vlad 'Mo' Mohar, Stan Rubin, Clyde Burch & of course, Bob 'Mo' Moberg. Clyde Burch was a skiing compadre of mine, and a very good one at that, he just recently contacted me after 46 years, he got out of the 77th? 7th? in May of 1958. He knew 'Mo' pretty well too.
Anyway, just thought I'd share this with you' all.

                 in sadness,

___________

From: Vladimir Mohar
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 16:04
Subject: Re: june1200.JPG

Actually, Billy,
    He was just strutting his stuff, he didn't really walk like that, he was just blowing smoke. I knew him like a book, he told me one time the only reason he joined the army and airborne was to get some extra money to help his mother out, she supposedly lived in Kansas City & was a street walker, he called her a regular whore, in jest I suppose, he told all of us if we ever wanted a piece of ass, he could arrange it if we were in her AO.., no shit.. never did out if he was serious or not?? Probably.., he had a weiner dog named Winsley, or Wesley, named him after Kamalu, the crazy Hawaiian, while he was in the 10th in Tolz, we used to go to the Goethe Strasse (combat alley) a lot, next to the Bahnhoff, he had a black Austin Healy & I, a white one, always said he was taking Wesley up to one of those bars to get him a blowjob!! No shit!!
I probably told you already, just about all of us that re-enlisted over there (Tolz) 1955, bought Healy's and wrecked them just as fast as we got them. I was driving all get out to make bed-check before midnight one Sunday, taking a curve after the autobahn, after the Holzkirchen turnoff, and there was Moberg's black Healy, upside-down and him standing beside it watching. He told me he was so scared the thing would catch fire, he was under it, that he picked up the one side and slid outta there, I believed him, shit, I was there and took him back into Tolz, we missed bed-check, but didn't really give a rat's ass..........
Ya know, he was in our jump class at Benning in early '53, Vickers told me that he broke his leg and had to be recycled........But boy, could that boy dance, anything, anywhere, you name it!!

Anyway, that's my Ode to Moberg, God bring peace to his soul, Mohar..........

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From: Mike Pierce <mlam@mprlnet.com.mm>
Gary Stevens:
What a fitting tribute to a fighting man! Thanks for sharing the info.
Somehow, it seems almost karmic that he would die on Memorial Day.
Knowing "MO" what little bit I did, I believe he would have growled something like, "Fuck It! It's only a life."
I'm sure he's enjoying himself somewhere in the afterlife, hoisting a few with Jack Shirley and others in that "Big Madrid" in the sky.

Mike Pierce

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From: "Cecil Ramsey" <Phantom6Cec@msn.com>
Just a note to say I am saddened to learn of Moberg's  passing. He and I served in l0th Special Forces together as enlisted men. I was his team sergeant in Bad Toelz, GE in 1953 - 1955 and subsequently in the 92d (Caribou) Avn Co in Vietnam. Bob was a good man and a real friend and I am sorry for his demise. I knew of his aviation ventures in Southeast Asia for a number of years, especially of those in Laos and Thailand. If I can provide you with any information regarding Bob Moberg, please get in touch with me.  You now have my e-mail address, also.

Follow on: Bob "MO" and I were in the 10th Special Forces together in the early 50's when they reorganized again and so we actually met in Ft Bragg and deployed to Bad Toelz, GE in November 1953. When we arrived in Bad Toelz we were reorganized into "language" companies and he was in my Team at the time.  I just happened to be the Team Sergeant and he was a Light Weapons MOS guy.   We stayed together until August 1955 at which time I was sent to OCS by Colonel Aaron Banks, the CO of the l0th SF Group.  Sometime later ( 1959 I believe ) "MO" went to OCS and eventually to flight school and was a Caribou pilot in the 92nd.  I just happened to be the Operations Officer and when Bob came to the unit I made him the Airfield Security Officer and of course we flew missions in I and II Corps, mainly in the Highlands supporting Special Forces camps, most of them whom we knew from previous tours in SF.  Later in 1965 I was detailed to organize the 222nd Aviation Bn at Vung Tau, thus separating Big MO and myself.  Later years we would cross paths again at Ft Benning, Thailand and other SE Asia assignments.  The last count I had with Big MO was he was flying contractor flights (Air America or Southeaster Airlines - same, same missions, etc.).  Thereafter I lost track of him and perhaps you may have heard him refer to a guy who flew in Laos with him by the name of "Rocky" Nessom, also a good friend and Special Forces associate.  After that time frame I lost contact with them both and wondered many times what happened to them and "if they made it out okay".  Hopefully this will fill in some of the spaces in MO's Obit, and maybe connect some links for you.  Hopefully I have contributed and am indeed sorry to learn of his demise.  How fitting - 31 May - Memorial Day.  God Rest His Soul.  I'll always fondly remember Big MO.

Cecil Ramsey
President AOCA Association
Tel/Fax:  770-251-7887

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Photos of MO from Bob Gursky, 61st & 92nd Aviation Company, June 64-June 65:


Bob Moberg, Caribou Pilot 1964-65

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From: "Ed Stipech" <estipech6@earthlink.net>
I had the privilege of being the CO of the 92nd, from June of 1965 until June of 1966. Bob was a Member of the Co. at the time I assumed Command. He was a outstanding Officer, a exceptional Pilot and  earned the respect of all his fellow officers as well as the personnel he lead in the varying assignments he performed in the Company. His most outstanding performance aside from his normal duties as an aviator was the manner in which he conducted a standardization program for all Flight crew members in the unit. His skill as an aviator, his outgoing personality, sense of humor, knowledge of the aircraft and its performance envelope resulted in a major improvement in the skill and proficiency of the unit.

I last saw Bob in Bangkok in 1983; we had dinner and renewed our friendship in a pleasant evening at his home. I am sorry to hear of his passing. He was one of a kind, a fantastic soldier, a dear friend. I had lost track of him and am sorry we didn't get together one more time in the intervening years. Thanks for the opportunity to comment on Bob's past and our relationship.
LTC. Ed Stipech, Retired.

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From: "CARL ROSS" <clrdkr@verizon.net>
Jack:  I served and shared a room with Bob when we were in the 92nd stationed at Da Nang in 1965.  I have a picture of him and some other 92nd aviators. Flying Caribou's, supporting the "B" Team out of Da Nang, didn't seem to give him enough stimulation and he volunteered to run airfield security at Qui Nhon.  I heard that, in order to test it's effectiveness, he would dress in black pajamas and try to penetrate the security he had established.  We also had an interesting time, in a traditional VC bars, one night when our brains were in the locked position.  I saw Bob a couple of times after the 92nd, once at Fort Bragg and again when I picked up an excess Beaver at Nha Trang for the 25th Division, when he was with the 281st.  We lost contact, but I often thought of him.  He was the type of individual you couldn't forget once you knew him.  I am deeply saddened by his passing.  I thought I had more pictures, but could not find any others of Bob.  This is a pictures of a trip the 92nd people stationed at Da Nang took to an island off Da Nang in 1965.  Bob is the one squatting down with the light colored hat.  Bob and Fred Ritterspach organized the trip.  Cecil Ramsey was also on the trip, but there was an obscene gesture in that picture.
Carl

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From: "Church, David J." <chdj@tengizchevroil.com> Please excuse my disjointed ramblings on the subject of Mo, but it still bewilders me that he's gone. I met Mo in '97 in Kyzl Orda, Kazakhstan. He ran security for Fluor as we tried to help figure out what in hell a Canadian Outfit, Hurricane Hydrocarbons, had actually bought in Kazakhstan and what they could do with it. He was in his mid '60's and could not be referred to as frail, old or 'past his prime' in any way at all. He did an amazing job running a crew of ex-KGB people whose sole job was to keep our poor expat bodies safe and try to keep the rampant theft down to some reasonable level. Which he did with aplomb and style gaining the respect of all that he came into contact with.

I next ran into him again in China in 2001 where he was once again heading up security for Fluor in Xiamen. My wife is Thai and she wanted to come out and see what I did for a living. I told Mo this and he arranged for Ott, his long time companion who was in China with him for some time, to meet my wife and take her under her wing. From then on I was part of that extended family of Mo's. It was on a trip down to his place near Rayong that I met "Barc" Boyd and listened to some of their war stories in quiet respect. Here was a man who really had "been there, done that and had ALL the tee-shirts".

Later that year, Mo had heart problems and my wife used some pull to get him to the front of the line for examination by a heart specialist at the Royal Thai in Bangkok. I never did find out what was wrong with him. But from that point on, no matter where in the world I was I kept in touch. Damn, but I miss his shit eating grin.

Dave Church
PFD Senior Electrical Engineer
TCO Asset Development Projects
Tengiz, Kazakhstan
Office +7-312-302-4068 ot +44-(0)207-171-4068
Cell; +8-300-411-9737

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From the SOA Net

LTC (Ret)  Robert Moberg, 633-GL, passed away on Memorial Day, 31 May, 2004. “Bandit 26” was 70. A native of Missouri, Bob enlisted in the Army in the early 1950s. He was an original member of 10th Special Forces group who had shipped to the Garden of Eden in 1953. He returned to Fort Bragg in 1957 and was assigned to 77th and 7th Special Forces Groups. He was a member of White Star. He served in Vietnam with Project Delta B-52 and the 281st AHC. He was also on Project 404. After retiring he flew for Continental Air Services in Laos that was under contract by the US Government. After the war he was chief pilot for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), based in Bangkok, Thailand. He also worked on the security team for Chevron Oil in Sudan, and later in Kazakhstan. He finally settled in Thailand. Among his awards and decorations are the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutists Badge, and Master Aviator Badge. He was a member of Chapter III, Special Forces Association and the VFW. He is survived his wife, and a child from a former marriage.

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B A N G K O K   P O S T,   M O N D A Y,  J U N E   7,  2 0 0 4

OBITUARY


Bandit 26'

Passes away after illness
Copter pilot Moberg Achieved Fame VN


Alan Dawson

Robert J. "MO" Moberg, a Vietnam war-era helicopter pilot of near legendary combat achievements has died in a Bangkok hospital after a long illness. He was 70.

Moberg achieved fame as leader and commander of a US Army helicopter rescue unit in South Vietnam, and later in the war, in Laos from a base at Udon Thani.

After the war, among other Post military jobs, he was a chief pilot for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), based in Bangkok.

Moberg became ill earlier this year from a recurrence of cancer. He was moved from Pattaya to a Bangkok hospital, where he finally succumbed Last Monday.

A native of the state of Missouri, Moberg enlisted in the US army in the early 1950s.  Known as "Bandit 26" during his first posting in Vietnam, Moberg achieved fame as a daring pilot during rescue operations.

His first notable operation was in August 1967, while leading a helicopter unit in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam in support of Green Berets involved in the then-secret Project Delta, a special reconnaissance operation that involved highly confidential raids on Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops across the border.  After he retired from the US Military in 1971, Moberg flew for Continental Air Services, one of the airlines under US Government contract in Laos.

After the communist victory in 1975, he settled in Thailand. Among other jobs, Moberg was chief pilot in the region for the DEA, and worked on the security team for Chevron Oil in the Sudan and, later, in Kazakhstan.

He is survived by his Thai wife, who lives in the United States, and a child from a former marriage.

_____________________________________

Photographs of Mo's Funeral
Held on June 5th, 2004
in Bangkok, Thailand

A Hero's Tribute
from General Henry H. Shelton
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
August 1999
.pdf file opens in a new page.

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