Cochran, Robert Fishel, Jr., 2ndLt

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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Primary MOS
1803-Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) Officer
Last MOSGroup
Tank And Amphibian Tractor
Primary Unit
1965-1965, 1803, 1st Amtrac Bn/A Co
Service Years
1961 - 1965

Second Lieutenant


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 Personal Details 

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl Elizabeth Davis to remember Marine 2ndLt Robert Fishel Cochran, Jr..

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Aug 18, 1965
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Quang Tin
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Poplarville Cemetery - Poplarville, Mississippi
Wall/Plot Coordinates
02E 055

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 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified]2

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 Unit Assignments
1st Amtrac Bn
  1965-1965, 1803, 1st Amtrac Bn/A Co
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1965 Defense Campaign (1965)/Operation Starlite (Starlight)
 Colleges Attended
Mississippi State University
  1960-1964, Mississippi State University
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
AN CUONG (2), NAM YEN (3), AND HILL 30 1965AUG18-19

On August 18, 1965, elements of the 3rd and 4th Marines made simultaneous amphibious and airborne assaults in an area about 10 miles south of Chu Lai. The purpose of OPERATION STARLITE was to cut off and destroy the 1st VC Regiment (60th Bn, 80th Bn, 52nd VC Co, and a Weapons Company). The landings met only light resistance but heavy fighting broke out as the Marines deployed from the LZs. During the fighting, a resupply convoy from A Company, 1st AMTRACS, came under intense enemy mortar, recoilless rifle, and small-arms fire. Of the 23 Marines assigned to the convoy, six were killed including the officer in command, 2LT Robert F. Cochran (Navy Cross), and several others wounded. When the convoy was relieved, 60 enemy bodies were found on the battlefield. The five other men from Alpha Company, 1st AMTRACS, who died in the fighting were CPL Rowland J. Adamoli, LCPL John Bell, LCPL Victor Flores, LCPL Verlon Hadley, and PFC James N. Kalil. 
Service number 089648

Navy Cross Citation

COCHRAN, ROBERT FISHEL, JR. Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve) Company A, 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion, 3d Marine Division (Rein.) FMF Date of Action: August 18, 1965 Citation: The Navy Cross is presented to Robert Fishel Cochran, Jr., Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in Company A , First Amphibian Tractor Battalion, Third Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, during Operation STARLITE near Chu Lai, Vietnam, on the morning of 18 August 1965. While leading an amphibian tractor supply column to the front lines, he had momentarily stopped the column in order to check his positions, when it came under intense enemy mortar, recoilless rifle and small-arms fire. Although he was exposed to enemy fire, he calmly and unhesitatingly directed his vehicles into defensive positions. The amphibian tractor on which Lieutenant Cochran was located was hit by recoilless rifle fire. Disregarding his own safety he ordered his crew to evacuate the vehicle and alertly pointed out a good position for them to occupy. Despite the imminent danger of the amphibian tractor exploding and the attempts of the enemy to enter the vehicle, he, in order to deprive the enemy of this source of supply, removed the machine gun ammunition before he left the tractor. With full knowledge of the situation and complete disregard for his own personal safety, Lieutenant Cochran moved through intense enemy cross fire to his disabled vehicle, directing the wounded and dazed personnel to the safety of two amphibian tractors which had gained hull defilade positions behind a rice paddy bank. When he was assured that all of his men were safe, he determined which vehicle would afford the best observation of the battle area. As he moved toward this tractor he was severely wounded. Knowing that to ask his men to open the main ramp of the tractor would endanger their lives, he unselfishly chose to mount the vehicle through the top hatch. As a result of his heroic action he succumbed on the top of the amphibian tractor. His personal bravery, and fearless devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Marine Corps and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country. Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
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