Zonne, Robert John, Jr., CPT

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1969-1970, 1542, A Company, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry
Service Years
1965 - 1970



Four Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by PFC John Jackson Pinney (Team Member, Vietnam Profiles) to remember Zonne, Robert John, Jr., CPT.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Los Angeles, CA
Last Address
Midland, TX

Casualty Date
Apr 20, 1970
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Bien Hoa (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
U.S. Military Academy West Point Post Cemetery - West Point, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
11W 029/s 34,r D,gr 176

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

Airborne Combat Advisor Recon

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
  1970, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2018, The National Gold Star Family Registry

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1961, US Military Academy (West Point, NY), B
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US NavyArmy Ranger School101st Airborne Division 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry
4th Infantry Division4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
  1960-1961, US Navy Reserve, US Navy
  1966-1966, Army Ranger School
  1966-1966, 1542, Basic Airborne Course (BAC) Airborne School
  1966-1967, 101st Airborne Division
  1967-1968, A Company, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry
  1967-1968, 4th Infantry Division
  1969-1970, 1542, A Company, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry
  1969-1970, 2163, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1967-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
  1967-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase III Campaign (1967-68)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase IV Campaign (1968)
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Summer-Fall 1969 Campaign
  1969-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1961-1965, United States Military Academy
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  May 12, 2017, General Photos5
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

To the Family of CPT Zonne, I must say I"am sadden to have just found on the web site the lost of our Dear CPT Zonne. I remember him as a great leader and and Man that lead his men with Honor and conviction. I remember the first fire fight I was in under his command. There was a another company that had walked into a ambush and were badly out numbered. We road our APC"s across the rice paddys and dismounted and assaulted the wood line. I thought wa!!! were going to get are butts kicked doing this. I then looked to my right and there was CPT Zonne,leading the charge, I think I grew to 6 1/2' from 5'10". I never will forget him,the courage I got from his leadership. I had a different CPT before CPT Zonnie and I never seen that happen.  

Here it is 44 years later and I find he was KIA. I"ll have a hard time digesting all this. I pray for all his family and friends. I must say I have thought of CPT Zonnie often sence our tour and have told this to many friends and family. He was a true Leader and a Hero in my eyes and those who served under his command.  God Bless You All.

SPC 4 Dale (Duke) Nault
Co.A. 4/23(Mech) 25th Infantry

BIOGRAPHY: Robert John Zonne, Jr. was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Louise Shackland Zonne and Robert J. Zonne. His parent's were California natives.Bob attended Midland schools and was active in academics and sports.He was 1960 honor's graduate of Midland High School. While in high school, he had a burning desire to attend a service academy. He joined the local Naval Reserve and entered Bullis Prep School Maryland. He was able to get his appointment to West Point by exam. He entered the USMA as a plebe in the fall of 1961. Robert graduated in 1965 from West Point and was commissioned a 2nd Lt., Regular Army in the Infantry. He took his Infantry Basic Officer's Course, parachute and Ranger training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He then joined the 101st as a company executive officer with the 101st at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Recognizing the road to a successful career, he voluteered for Vietnam. While preparing for this tour, he married Patricia McDougal in Cincinnati, Ohio on February 14, 1967. He had met Pat during his plebe year at the Academy. She was a cousin of his roommate his plebe year. In May 1967, he he started his first tour in Vietnam and was assigned to A Company, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. He spent his tour acting as an advisor to several S. Vietnamese ranger battalions. The entire one year tour was spent in the field, much in the Tay Ninh Province near the Cambodian border.

Captain Zonne started his second tour in Vietnam on July 18, 1969. First assigned as company commander with the 25th Infantry Division and served in that capacity for his first six months. He was then assigned as a Division Communication's Officer for the 25th Infantry Division to work liasion with the various command components in the field. This assignment required that he shuttle on a daily basis between Cu Chi and Long Binh. On April 17, 1970, Captain Zonne boarded a UH-1H, tail number 67-17706. The aircraft was assigned to per-form division courier duty. The primary misssion was to fly the division couriers as needed while at the same time interjecting passenger pick up and drop offs of other personnel during the courier run.The crew were on their final mission of the day and flew to II Field Force where the crew departed the aircraft for their evening meal. This was at about 1720 hours.They were on the ground for approximately one hour. Captain Zonne boarded the aircraft at this time. The aircraft and passengers departed at about 1812 hours headed for Cu Chi base camp. The aircraft was flying at an attitude of about 70 feet AGL and was following the Saigon River. Around 1825 hours, the aircraft struck two stranded cables suspended between two poles. The point of impact when the helicopter struck the first cable was at the nose of the aircraft. The velocity of this tossed the aircraft up and over and the main rotor was separated when it struck the second cable. The helicopter then crashed into the Saigon River. Three bodies were found floating at the surface when ground forces and rescue arrived for assistance. Two of the three were alive, including Captain Zonne. Captain Zonne and the other survivor were taken to the24th Evacuation Hospital at Long Binh. Captain Zonne died three days later on April 20,1970 from injuries suffered in the crash. The other fatalities perished from drowning and/or other causes. There were 11 personnel on the aircraft at the time of the incident.
Captain Robert John Zonne, Jr. was survived by his wife and his parents and by his younger brother.
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