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Robert Alfred Dondero
Sergeant Major, United States Army
Massachsuetts State Flag
Courtesy of Paula Dondero: November 2005

"Robert Allen Dondero was the first born son of Alfred and Hazel Dondero.

"He was the oldest of seven children, five boys and two girls,  who all looked up to him. He was a fine example for them. A wonderful son, brother, father and uncle . He was, in fact, the favorite Uncle...We all miss him still.

"He joined the Army as a teenager and had spent over 20 years of his too short life in the service, he never married in his younger years. His new wife, my aunt Helen, lost her will to go on and left us less than a year after he did. It is said that she died of a broken heart.

"The last time I saw him was February 14, 1969. He and my Aunt Helen arrived at our home armed with gifts and jelly filled doughnuts before leaving for Vietnam. His visits were always memorable as he spoiled us a great deal.

RA Dondero PHOTO

"At the time of his death he was visiting one of his subordinate MACV Teams in Quang Duc Province. While they were visiting, the team started receiving incoming rockets.The team made a dash for the helicopter to get airborne and out of there. They all made it except for my uncle. I was told that a rocket landed in front of him as he was running.  The upward blast and shrapnel caught him at about his waist line.

"I have this picture of him which was taken just before he was killed. On the left is Sergeant Major Dondero, known to us as Uncle Spike. Sergeant Major Sam Hadley is in the center, his good friend. Uncle Spike was presenting a painting of the first moon landing to Hadley and their NCO club manager. The painting was done by a Vietnamese artist.

"Sergeant Major Hadley said of him:

"'Vietnam was a hot, humid place, and it was a job to keep the jungle uniform looking neat, but your uncle changed uniforms twice a day. He was our senior NCO and always set an example for the rest of us. God, how I admired that man.  I miss him and will never forget him. In my 30 years in the Army, I never met a more perfect gentleman and soldier'"


Full Name: ROBERT ALFRED DONDERO
Date of Birth: 6/15/1927
Date of Casualty: 11/6/1969
Home of Record: BROCKTON, MASSACHUSETTS
Branch of Service: ARMY
Rank: SMAJ
Casualty Country: SOUTH VIETNAM
Casualty Province: QUANG DUC
DONDERO, HELEN D WID OF DONDERO, ROBERT A

DATE OF BIRTH: 04/01/1929
DATE OF DEATH: 07/19/1970
BURIED AT: SECTION 51  SITE 1961
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
 WIFE OF RA DONDERO, CSM US ARMY
  Posted: 2 August 2005  Updated: 30 November 2005 Updated: 31 January 2006
Purple Heart Medal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Legion of Merit
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bronze Star Medal - 2 Awards
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RA Dondero Gravesite PHOTO
 

RA Dondero Gravesite PHOTO
 Photos Courtesy of Holly, August 2005