Robert James Lazaro

Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army


A Company
First Battalion
35th Infantry Regiment
4th Infantry Division

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: October 9, 1967
Buried at: Section Z, Plot 118
                  Beverly National Cemetery
                  916 Bridgeboro Road
                  Beverly NJ 08010
Awards: Silver Star, Purple Heart

SECOND 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.

Robert J. Lazaro entered the US Army and attained the rank of Second Lieutenant. He completed Infantry OCS at Ft. Benning, GA, and was assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.

After graduating officers candidate school he was sent to Vietnam, and assigned, with fellow OCS graduate William R. Bray, to A Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry regiment, 4th Infantry Division. Second Lieutenant Lazaro was given command of the Heavy Weapons Platoon, while Second Lieutenant Bray was placed in charge of the First Platoon.

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:

  • A Company, 1/35th Infantry
    • 2LT William R. Bray, Burlington, NC
    • 2LT Robert J. Lazaro, Glendora, NJ
    • PFC Edward J. Blotzer, Pittsburgh, PA
    • PFC Willis W. Emerton, Dallas, TX
    • PFC Jimmy R. Hohstadt, Clovis, NM
    • PFC Richard R. Irwin, Arcadia, CA
    • PFC Bernard J. Meirndorf, Williamston, MI
    • PFC Joel C. Roper, Marietta, GA
    • PFC Stephen J. Smith, Mount Vernon, IL
  • HHC, 1/35th Infantry
    • SP4 David L. Farley, Brunswick, ME, medic with A/1/35
    • PFC Ronald S. Sandel, Thorp, WI, medic with A/1/35

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. 

Going Away Party


Click on Image to Enlarge

APO San Francisco 96262

GENERAL ORDERS                                                                                  24 October 1967


1 TC 320.   The following Award is announced posthumously:

Co A, 1st Bn, 35th Inf. 4th Inf Div, APO 96355

Awarded: Silver Star
Date action: 9 October 1967
Theater: Republic of Vietnam 

Reason: 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 Infantry, conducting 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 United States Army.

Authority: By direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved 9 July 1918.

GO 3519 

is honored on Panel 27E, Row 82 of
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.


** Note that some of these messages are from years ago
 and their contact information may not be good anymore **

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.

Brian Smith
Fellow OCS Graduate
Saturday, March 25, 2000


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.

Tim Peters
I served with him.
P.O. Box 6316
Clearwater,Fl. 33758
Wednesday, July 21, 1999


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.

Brian Smith
Graduated Together from OCS
Friday, December 14, 2001

Thanks to Bob Koneful for his helpo in creating this page