Robert C. White III

U.S. Army


864th Engineer Battalion,
 555th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (Provisional)

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: April 23, 2005
Buried at: Harleigh Cemetery
                  Haddon Avenue
                  Camden NJ


PRIVATE ROBERT C. WHITE III of Camden, N.J.; assigned to the 864th Engineer Battalion, 555th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (Provisional), based at Fort Lewis, Washington, died April 23, 2005 at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, of non-combat-related injuries. He had shipped out for Afghanistan in February of 2005. Private White was 21 years old.

Courier-News - April 29, 2005

Camden Soldier Dies in Kandahar

FORT LEWIS, Wash. -- A soldier from New Jersey has died in Afghanistan from non-combat related injuries, the Department of Defense said Thursday.

Pvt. Robert C. White III of Camden died April 23 at Kandahar Airfield, the department said in a news release.

White, 21, was assigned to the 864th Engineer Battalion, 555th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (Provisional) at Fort Lewis, south of Tacoma. He worked in food service operations and had deployed to Afghanistan in February, said Tammy Reed, a Fort Lewis spokeswoman.

White joined the Army Reserves in New Jersey on Nov. 3, 2003, Reed said. He signed up for active duty and was assigned to Fort Lewis on Jan. 31, 2005.  

Camden Courier-Post - May 3, 2005

Soldier to be buried in Camden 
Robert C. White III died in Afghanistan


A former Camden man who died serving in the Army in Afghanistan, will be laid to rest here this afternoon after funeral services in New York City.

Pvt. Robert C. White III, 21, died at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan on April 23 of noncombat related injuries, said Maj. Elizabeth Robbins, an Army spokeswoman.

White went to Afghanistan from Fort Lewis, Wash., in February with the 864th Engineer Battalion and worked in food service operations, Robbins said.

White was survived by his wife, two children, and parents. Relatives in Camden could not be reached for comment, however.

A viewing for White was held Monday night at Benta's Funeral Home in New York City. After a funeral service this morning at St. James Presbyterian Church, also in New York City, White will be brought back to New Jersey for burial at Harleigh Cemetery in Camden, said Jacqueline Sherman, funeral director at Benta's.

No relatives of White could be reached in New York.

Fort Lewis spokesman Joe Hitt said he could not release any personal information about White without the consent of his family.

Hitt said White arrived at Fort Lewis on Jan. 31 after enlisting in the Army full time. Hitt said it appeared White had been an Army reservist, stationed out of Fort Dix, Burlington County. White joined the Army reserve on Nov. 3, 2003.

Kryn Westhoven, a spokesman for Fort Dix, said he could not find records of White's time at Fort Dix.

Monica Lewis, a spokeswoman for the Camden school district, said there was a Robert C. White who matched the age of the deceased soldier, who left the school in the 10th grade and moved to Peekskill, N.Y. Lewis did not know what year White left.

The Army has not released the cause of White's death.

Camden Courier-Post - May 5, 2005
Lend Sympathy To Servicemen's Kin

We extend out thoughts to the friends and family of John Charles Spahr, formerly of Cherry Hill, and Robert White, formerly of Camden.

In barely a week's time, two more servicemen with ties to South Jersey have perished in the war on terror.

On April 23, former Camden resident Army private Robert C. White III, formerly of Camden, died of noncombat injuries at the Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. On Wednesday the military confirmed that Marine Maj. John Charles Spahr, formerly of Cherry Hill, died earlier this week following the crash of his fighter jet in Iraq.

American fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan are falling but, as these twin tragedies prove, our nation still is very much at war.

White, 21, was not involved in combat operations in Afghanistan, but his efforts in support of his fellow soldiers in the war on terror deserve to be remembered. White had been in Afghanistan since February with the 864th Engineer Battlion, 555th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (Provisional). He worked in food service in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

He attended school in Camden until 10th grade and then moved to New York, enlisting in the Army Reserve in New Jersey in 2003. He bravely signed up for active duty two years later and was assigned to Fort Lewis, Wash. He leaves behind a wife, two children and his parents.

Spahr, 42, leaves behind a wife and daughter in San Diego, as well as his mother, four older sisters and a younger brother.

Spahr was executive officer of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323, based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, according to The Associated Press.

"He was a real affable, outgoing, easy-to-get-along-with kid, really hard working," said Barbara Brown, a biology teacher at St. Joseph's Preparatory School in Philadelphia, where Spahr attended until 1981.

His Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet was one of two reported missing earlier this week. The second pilot still is missing.

Spahr had been flying F/A-18s since 1993, according to his official biography. He attended the Navy's "Top Gun" fighter weapons school in 1996, later was an instructor pilot there and was embarked aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation when the Iraq war began in March 2003.

Both men deserve our eternal gratitude for their willingness to place themselves at risk for the greater good.

Unfortunately, they are just the latest to join a growing list of local heroes who have died in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Fallen Heroes Memorial - Robert C. White III