The Oregonian published a very touching article about Robert Sharpe’s return home.
Date of birth: 21 April 1951 Date tour began: 16 October 1970 Date of casualty: 15 January 1971 Home of record: Lake Oswego, Oregon Branch and Rank: Army, Corporal, Light Weapons Infantry Unit: 101st Airborne Division, 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry, Headquarters Company Awards: National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Purple Heart Location of name on the Vietnam Wall: 5W, 47
Location of service: South Vietnam, Quang Tin province Died through hostile action .. explosive device
Burial location: Willamette National Cemetery Memorials: Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Washington, DC), Oregon Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Portland), Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Portland)
The Oregonian, Friday, January 22, 1971 Oregon GI Dies in War WASHINGTON (AP) – The Defense Department said Thursday a Portland soldier, Army Pfc. Robert E. Sharpe, has died in Southeast Asia. Sharpe was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene R. Ward, 506 NE Ivy St., Portland. The Defense Department report said he was killed in action. Sharpe was the 630th Oregon casualty in the hostilities in Southeast Asia, and the third for 1971.
The Oregonian, Saturday, January 23, 1971 Lake Oswego Soldier Arrives Home For Birthday – But Not As Planned “Robert swore he would move heaven and earth to get home for my birthday, “ Mrs. Eugene R. Ward, of 3805 SW Upper Drive, Lake Oswego, recalled Friday. Friday was her birthday and her son Robert came home. But no candles burned. No cake was cut. There was no joy in the Ward home. Pfc. Robert E. Sharpe came home in a box. He volunteered to lead his squad through a mine field in Vietnam Friday, Jan. 15. He led the squad to safety, but was killed in the process. “Robert made me promise him I would meet him when he returned from Vietnam ‘even if I come home in a box,’ “ Mrs. Ward recalled. She was there to meet him late Friday. “He got home for my birthday,” she said sadly. “But this is not the way we planned it. The last letter he wrote he said he wanted to make me proud of him if it was the last thing he did. He should have known I’ve always been proud of him,” she continued. “He loved his home, his community, his country – which was something these days when so many kids can’t wait to get away.” Pvt. Sharpe, 19, will be buried with military honors in Willamette National Cemetery Wednesday. Services will be held in the Chapel by the Lake in Oswego at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday. He was born in Kalispell, Mont., April 21, 1951, and came to Oregon at two months of age. He had lived in Oswego the past seven years, attending grade and high schools there. He enlisted in June, 1970, to catch up with three buddies who had enlisted two weeks earlier. He went to Vietnam Oct. 18, 1970. He is survived by his mother, three brothers, William, 14; Joseph, 13; and Keith, 9, at home; and a sister Mrs. Dennis (Colleen) Lamb, Sacramento, Calif.