He was on a recovery mission when the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter he was co-piloting was downed by heavy hostile automatic weapons fire near the US Marine base at Khe Sahn, Vietnam. Captain Robert L. Sevell was killed in action on February 28, 1968.
Sevell and 21 others were enroute to a downed aircraft when their helicopter came under fire. The helicopter exploded on impact with the ground and all aboard were killed. Sevell was awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement in aerial operations and the Purple Heart.
This Fallen Hero graduated from Clark’s Arthur L. Johnson High School in 1961. He was the starting quarterback of the Crusaders football team during his junior and senior years. He also ran track and was a member of the school’s bowling club. A natural leader, Sevell served on student council for 3 years and was voted his senior class president. He was a member of both service and academic clubs.
Just 24 years old at his death, Sevell left behind a wife and a one-year-old son. The young family lived on Oak Ridge Road before Sevell’s departure for Viet Nam.
Clark's Fallen Heroes profiles those 21 soldiers from Clark who died in service to their country. Author William Duffy’s research into Clark’s fallen heroes included such primary sources as United States military records kept at the National Archive, articles and reports from “The Elizabeth Daily Journal,” photographs, letters and, when possible, interviews with family members and friends of the deceased.
Find out more about William Duffy: One Man’s Quest to Keep Alive the Memory of Clark’s War Dead
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