In Memory

Robert Abina - Class Of 1966

Robert was born on August 13, 1947 and died in Vietnam on November 30, 1967.  He along with 9 other Pacific High School and 2 San Leandro High School Alumni gave their lives for our country.  Everyone is welcome to visit the  Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in the main lobby of San Leandro High School.

You will always be remembered and will always be in our thoughts and hearts..

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02/09/10 09:22 AM #1    

Sue Ferreira (Nunes) (1967)

Robert Thomas Abina
Private First Class

Home of Record: San Leandro, CA
Date of birth: 08/13/1947

Service: United States Marine Corps
Grade at loss: E2
Rank: Private First Class
ID No: 2375812
Length Service: 00

Start Tour: 09/25/1967
Casualty Date: 11/30/1967
Incident Date: 11/30/1967
Age at Loss: 20
Location: Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam
Remains: Body recovered
Casualty Type: Hostile, died outright
Casualty Reason: Ground casualty

ON THE WALL Panel 31E Line 008


04/23/14 07:52 AM #2    

John McCarthy (1972)

This is so sad, One of the nine other Graduates killed in Viet Nam was my uncle Richard Lee Hammett, class of 66. I believe that his track records still stand. Y'all were so brave, Rest in Peace Brothers.

05/21/14 10:10 PM #3    

Thomas Tilden (1966)

05/25/14 08:38 AM #4    

Bill Ross (1974)

Bobby's sister married my brother in 1961.  Prior to leaving for Vietnam, Bobby stopped by our house on Doolittle to talk to my dad, a Marine veteran, who had fought in the Philippine Islands during WWII.  That was the last time we would see alive.  Needless to say his death was a shock to our family.

For years the specific details relating to his death were unknown, even to his immediate family.  In the late 90's, 30 years after Bobby's passing, a veteran by the name of Tim DeWolf contacted the Abina family and said that he was with Bobby at the time of his death.  Tim's story of Bobby's amazing courage under fire is provided below:

"On 11/30/67 Bobby Abina, weapons platoon Fox 2/9 saved my life. Fox company was the point company and we hit a batallion sized ambush of NVA. I was pinned in the open and alone and this was my first operation. I had been in country less than 2 weeks. Bobby called to me and rose from the safety of a bomb crater to provide covering fire. I was able to join him and his position became a rallying point for the company. Moments later Bobby was killed by a sniper. He died in my arms. I have visited him at his resting place, upon the wall, and met with his family. How do you honor this Marine? I simply remember every day and try to live by the standards that Bobby set. Semper Fi Bobby, and when it is my turn to cross over the first person I will look for is you."


The above is an abbreviated version of the events that day. I resisted saying more because I wanted the lines to be about Bobby. When the ambush was initiated I was with three other Marines, one was the other half of the FAC team. When the rifle fire broke out we all fell to the ground and I was in a shallow depression. I looked about and could not see anything moving, all the Marines except two had vanished. Rifle fire began to hit all around me and a grenade fell several feet away and blew up. An NVA soldier stood up in a spider hole - he seemed to rise by magic out of the ground - and he threw another grenade. I looked over where the other Marines had been and they were gone. I had been left behind, I thought that never happened. Bullets were coming closer and although I could not see any NVA they could see me, I was sure it would be only moments before I was hit. Suddenly I heard someone calling out. I looked and could see a Marine standing in the intense fire, he was on the edge of a bomb crater and he was firing to my front. He called to me again, to come to him. I began to crawl and the rifle fire was unbelievable, bullets were hitting the bushes and ground all around me. By now I was crawling at about 20 miles an hour and I finally reached the bomb crater. The edge of the crater had a lip of loose dirt, bamboo, brush, and tree roots that I would have to go over. My pack caught in the tangle and I was stuck half upright and in the open. I remember a small stick of bamboo right in front of my face - it exploded when it was hit by a bullet. The Marine in the crater rose even higher and stepped over the tangle and grabbed my pack and pulled me into the crater. We slid to the bottom in the mud and loose dirt. The Marine smiled at me and climbed back to the top of the crater to resume firing. He looked back and spoke a few words and I joined him at the top of the crater as we put out fire. As we would fire we would slide in the mud backwards. I slid father because I was heavier and had not taken my pack off. After several trips to the top of the crater the NVA had our number, Bobby reached the lip of the crater and as his head came up over the lip he was shot by a sniper. He uttered a groan and fell back. I caught him with one arm as he rolled back. I had him in the crook of my arm but he was heavy and we slid down again and I dropped my rifle and cradled him with both arms. I could see a bullet hole over his eye and I called for a Corpsman. I knew he was dead but I didn't want to give up on him. He hadn't given up on me. We began to collect more Marines in the crater and it eventually became the command center. I covered Bobby with my poncho. The spotter plan was talking to us and describing Marines and NVA in hand to hand combat. He was directing Marines when to throw grenades as the NVA tried to sneak up on isolated pockets of Marines. The remainder of 2/9 moved up and drove the NVA back. After the battle I carried Bobby to the LZ. I had noted his name, prominently across the back of his flack Jacket. The name was burned into my soul and I never forgot it. When the wall was opened I found his name and learned he was from San Leandro. I began writing letters to every Abina in California and I finally found Bobby's family. The rest is in Mikes story. Bobby didn't leave me and I never left anyone either. I always figured I was on borrowed time, I should have died on Nov. 30 1967 and but for Bobby I would have.

DeWolf 2/9 Forward Air Control 67-68 - See more at:

05/26/14 10:44 AM #5    

Linda Collier (Rilea) (1966)

My wife, Linda (Linda Gail Collier) showed me this very poignant memory written by Tim DeWolf regarding Bobby Abina.  I was a 2dLt in 2/9 about the same time and most people would not venture to believe that courageous actions like this were a daily occurence where we were in I Corps.  Marines like Tim and Bobby did all they could do to protect each other, knowing full well it could be their last living act.  In John 15:13 Jesus tell us "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."  Bobby may not have personally known Tim but....he was a Marine and all Marines have a bond that is almost impossible to explain to those that have never been there.  No matter the threat, we do what we have to do to help our fellow Marine.   I retired after serving 30 years as a Marine and a day never went by that I was not left in amazement as to what one Marine will do for another at the risk of his own safety.  Life is precious.  God decided it was Bobby that needed to come home that day and Tim was the beneficiary of his final heroic act.  Our daughter serves today as a Marine and I know for certain she is as safe as she can be with her Marines.  God Bless the United States and long live he Corps.  (Colonel C. Rilea, USMC, Ret.,Hotel/2/9)

01/27/15 03:40 PM #6    

Larry Campos (1966)

I was a Jr. High and high school friend of Bobbie .Their isn't much more that can be said that hasn't been already said above. All l know is, if you ever needed him, he was always there too back you up. Please rest in piece. My sympathy to the entire family..

05/22/15 01:08 PM #7    

Larry Campos (1966)

On this memorial day, I want Bob to know I'm still thinking of him. Nearly 47 years since his death and it still seems like yesterday. May he and all other Veterans who paid the ultimate price so I could live the life I have today, I salute you!. May you all rest in peace. Larry.

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