RIOS, ROBERTO PENA
Rank / Branch:
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS E-2 U.S. ARMY
173RD AIRBORNE BRIGA
Date of Birth:
Awards & Decorations:
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ROBERTO PENA RIOS, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS, U.S. ARMY, SAN ANGELO, TOM GREEN, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Parachute Wings, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, RVN Campaign Medal
Roberto Pena Rios was born in San Angelo, Texas. He was the son of Martha Pena Rios and Felix Lopez Rios. He attended San Angelo schools and graduated from San Angelo Central High School in 1967. He joined the U.S. Army as soon as he graduated in June 1967 and he was inducted in Abilene, Texas.
Robert Rios, San Angelo Central High School-1967
He completed his basic training at Fort Polk, Lousiania and Armor Crewman AIT at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He, then completed parachute training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He departed for Vietnam on December 1, 1967. He was assigned as a tank crewman to D Company, 16th Armored Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade (Independent).
The 16th Armored Regiment provided an airborne anti-tank capability to the 173rd Airborne Brigade with its M-56 self-propelled 90mm "Scorpion Guns." On March 4, 1968 "D" Company lost eight men in a fire fight with an NVA division. Pvt. Rios was on a 90mm tank that took a direct hit from a "RPG" and exploded. Pvt Rios was burned in the explosion and from the intense heat. He died before he could be medevaced.
Pvt. Roberto Rios was buried in the Cavalry Catholic Cemetery in San Angelo, Texas with full military honors. He was posthumously promoted to Private First Class and awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart.
Calavary Catholic Cemetery, San Angelo, Texas