Military History of Robert Beckom
Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Bruce P. Crandall personally hand picked and trained Robert Beckom as the first ever "Door Gunner'' on Crandall's helicopter in all of the Vietnam War. It was a new concept at that time and still used today. Robert Beckom was in fact the door gunner for Bruce P. Crandall during the Battle of La Drang on Nov. 14, 1965, the same event that won Crandall the Congressional Medal of Honor given to him by President Bush years later.
Robert Beckom also fought alongside Jack Smith, at the time Private First Class, in LZ-Xray Albany Nov. 14, 1965 who later became a famous ABC News Correspondent. Robert Beckom received 2 purple hearts and an accommodation for a Silver Star.
The helicopter at Fort Bragg North Carolina is the same "Serpent Six" helicopter that was used in the Battle of La Drang Nov. 14, 1965. Driven by Bruce P. Crandall with Robert Beckom as the Door Gunner. The 4 names on the door of that helicopter are from a different mission to honor 4 Missing In Action soldiers that lost their lives around that time frame. Robert Beckom sang at their funeral and wrote many songs, one that was sung at the funeral by Robert Beckom himself.