In Memory of
U.S. Army Private First Class Tripp, South Dakota
Hutchinson County

October 30, 1929--November 6, 1950
Killed in Action in Korea

Robert “Bob” Christian Schmidt was born in Tripp, South Dakota, on October 30, 1929, to Mr. Peter and Mrs. Bertha (Bitterman) Schmidt. He had four sisters, Elizabeth, Ruth, Thelma, and Dorothea and three brothers: Don, Jim, and Ted. Robert graduated from Tripp High School in 1947. Robert then worked for the Art B. Thomas shows, a well-known carnival, and traveled occasionally in the summers before he entered the service.

Robert Christian Schmidt enlisted into the U.S Army on August 22, 1949, at Mitchell, and was sent to Fort Riley, Kansas for his basic training, originally part of Co. H, 8th Infantry Regiment, 10th Infantry Division. However, he was transferred to radio school at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey, and then went on to Camp Gordon, Georgia, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Pfc. Schmidt was then a part of R & M Company, 4th Signal Battalion, X Corps. The X Corps was well known; it was made up of the 1st Marine Division, the 7th Army Division, and the 3rd Army Division. Although Robert had broken his arm and was in a cast, because his unit was shorthanded, he was sent overseas anyway. He went overseas from Fort Lewis, Washington, in August of 1950 and in September “participated in the landing at Inchon 2 days after D-Day.” Then his unit helped recapture Seoul and manned a communication post until they were ordered on to Wonsan. His last letter home was written on his birthday, October 30, 1950; he wrote that his unit expected to go into Hamshung within days.

Private First Class Robert Christian Schmidt was killed in action in Korea on November 6, 1950, while serving as a radio technician when he and others in his unit were “overrun by charging Chinese soldiers.” According to one published report:

They were cut off from the rest of their unit, but still had a 2 ½ ton truck in their possession. Since they did not want to become prisoners of war, the call went out, ‘Who can drive a truck?’ Bob said he could and took the wheel. He proceeded to hammer through the enemy fire in the process. He died somewhere north of the 38th parallel defending his country and South Korea from the ideals of Communist rule.

Private First Class Robert Christian Schmidt was awarded the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Korean War Service Medal. Robert Schmidt was the only Tripp soldier to be killed in action in Korea.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Chantelle Rae Janke, 8th grade, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota on July 19, 2004. The American Battle Monuments Commission, an application for a SD veteran’s bonus, and the South Dakota National Guard Museum provided information for this entry. Profile approval and additional information by Donald and James Schmidt, brothers.