July 22, 1949 (Norwalk, CT) – October 2, 1969; 20 years old
Married to Rose Schroeter Bachman on September 1, 1967, in Norwalk
One child, Christopher Charles William Bachman (1968-2007)
Two grandchildren, Christopher J. (1995-) and Emily N. Bachman (?-?)
Last local addresses: 1 Testa Place, South Norwalk, and 74 Dry Hill Road, Norwalk
Enlisted on February 18, 1969
MOS: 91A10, Medical Corpsman
Tour Start Date: July 27, 1969; killed 2 months, 6 days into the tour
Service number: RA11809194
Unit: 5th Infantry Division, 77th Armor Regiment, 1st Battalion, D Company, Medical Platoon
Born to Charles J. (1926-1986) and Filomena Pianka Bachman (1925-1982). Charles was their only child.
Casualty Location: Quang Tri, South Vietnam; attack 5KM W-SW of Con Thien (Hill 158)
Awarded the Bronze Star Medal (with Merit) and the Purple Heart Medal
From The Norwalk Hour October 14, 1969
A 20-year-old Norwalk soldier – father of a one-year-old son – has been reported killed in Vietnam by the Defense Department. PFC Charles W. “Chip” Bachman, husband of Mrs. Rose Schroeder Bachman and father of Christopher Bachman, of 74 Dry Hill Road, had been reported missing on October 6. An Army officer told Mrs. Bachman Monday that her husband had been killed by hostile fire on October 2 while defending a position taken in the DMZ by Company B, 1st Battalion, 77th Armored, Fifth Division. “What a waste!” was the reaction of his parents Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Bachman Sr. of 1 Testa Place. Mr. Bachman who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, observed bitterly that his son had been trained as a medic before his overseas assignment. But when he arrived in Vietnam he was transferred to an armored unit where he was made a gunner on a tank. “He didn’t know a thing about the job”, said Mr. Bachman, holding back tears. “He had been trained as a medic for three months at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. Then they put him in a tank as a gunner. It’s absolutely unbelievable.” Mr. Bachman won’t be happy either about the fact that his son went to Vietnam in the first place. “It would be different if these young kids knew what they were fighting for. We got some satisfaction out of doing a job for what we thought was a worthwhile cause. After all, we had been attacked. But this is totally different. Few people can really understand our mission in Southeast Asia. Sending our healthiest young boys over there to be slaughtered is almost like the pagan rituals demanding the sacrifice of human bodies. Don’t get me wrong, I believe a citizen has to make sacrifices for his country. And I would have accepted Vietnam if we had gone in there unequivocally and done a thorough job. But we haven’t, and I think I am like a lot of our population – bewildered and disillusioned.” Mr. Bachman went on to say he and his wife had tried to talk their only child out of enlisting in the Army in December of last year. “He didn’t have to go. He was married and had a young son, Chris. But he had many friends who had served in Vietnam and he felt he had to go and do his share.” PFC Bachman was finally called for induction on February 18 of this year. He took basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, then went to Fort Sam Houston and trained as a medic. He had spent an 18-day leave at home in July. Born in Norwalk, “Chip” had graduated from St. Joseph’s School and then spent a year at Central Catholic and a year at Brien McMahon before leaving to work. He had held a variety of jobs before enlisting. Also surviving are his paternal Grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bachman of 188 South Main Street, and maternal grandfather, Walter Planka, of Rainbow Road. PFC Bachman is the 16th Norwalker to die in Vietnam and the 36th victim from the eight-town area surrounding this city. The first battle death occurred in February of 1966. There were three in that year, 15 in 1967, 10 in 1968, and eight thus far this year. A breakdown reveals that five Darienites have made the supreme sacrifice, four Wiltonites, three Ridgefielders, three New Canaanites, two each from Redding and Georgetown, and one from Westport. Arrangements are in the charge of Collins Funeral Home.
Posted on vvmf.org, October 17, 2015, by Thomas W. Grafton
THE SOCIETY OF THE FIFTH DIVISION
You Have Not Been Forgotten!
The Society of the Fifth Division, U.S. Army, during its 95th Annual Reunion in Pittsburgh, PA (Sept 10-14, 2015), held a Reading of the Names Ceremony to honor the 514 Soldiers from the 5th Division that were Killed in Action during the War in Vietnam. Your Name Was Read Aloud Among Those Soldiers. You Have Not Been Forgotten! Rest in Peace Dear Brother.
Alpha Company, 7th Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division
Posted on vvmf.org, November 17, 2004, by Ralph E. Coots
I was with Chip when he was killed that night. We were in a firefight with the NVA and after we had fought most of the night when it ended, we had 27 guys injured and Chip was killed. I have fond memories of him and the things we talked about and I will never forget him and how brave he was.
Posted on vvmf.org, April 7, 2007, by Rob McNabb
I have thought of Chip repeatedly throughout the years since the hilltop firefight on Rocket Ridge in Quang Tri Province. I was the tank commander on Captain Moore’s tank the night of the ground attack. My driver was Ralph Coots and my loader was Norm Howard. That night, October 2, 1969, four tanks, two dusters, and a squad of attached infantry were set up in a night defensive position. We were attacked by an estimated company of North Vietnamese Regulars. The first rounds into our perimeter were from a rocket-propelled grenade, followed by mortars and then the ground attack. Captain Moore was manning the .50 Caliber machine gun on the tank. Myself, Coots, and Howard were asleep under the tank, waiting for our turn on guard when the attack began. As the attack escalated, myself and my crew returned fire from underneath our tank. While reloading, I looked across the perimeter at an armored personnel carrier just as it took a direct hit from a mortar. I then saw our medic, Chip Bachman, jump up from his prone position and break into a run toward the armored personnel carrier. As he approached the carrier, a rocket-propelled grenade, hit the left rear panel of the armored personnel carrier. It hit just as Chip got to the carrier and shrapnel exploded into Chip’s abdomen. He hit the ground and was not moving. Enemy mortars and small arms fire continued to pour into the perimeter. I then low crawled approximately 80 feet to reach Chip. I did reach him. I then turned over his body to see if he was alive and if I could provide him assistance. His torso was put in two parts. I pulled on his fatigues, right below his belt line. His torso was cut in half. Chip was a true hero and gave his life in a truly valiant attempt to rescue his fallen comrades. I did not know Chip personally. I just knew him as “Doc.” I have been to the Wall, in his honor. I often cry myself to sleep thinking about that one night and Chip lives in my dreams. May God bless and care for you Chip. To me, you will always be a hero. — Rob McNabb, Tango Charlie, Bravo 23, and Bravo 26. Bravo Company, 1/77th Armor, 1st of the 5th Mechanized Infantry. RVN 69-70
Posted on vvmf.org, February 7, 2013, by Don Cosman
Chip and I lived on Testa Place in South Norwalk. GI Joe had just come out and we were in the swamp all the time. We were going to win the WAR together. He left before I joined the Navy. I go to the Wall every chance I get now that I live in the DC area. I even explain to the school groups about friendship and how important it is. Especially in the military. I miss him still after all these years.
Left on thewall-usa.com on October 11, 2000, by Walt Carneglia
Best friends, we grew up and worked. The wall is here in Norwalk. I will try to honor you if my legs will hold out. I was already in Saigon for ten months when I heard Chip was killed. I flew home space available but got home about six hours after he was buried. I never stop thinking about him. He had a wife and a newborn son. I was single. I stayed in Vietnam for four full years and I still feel I didn’t do enough. I lost touch with his family, His son would be about 30, to 32 right now.
Private Bachman is buried in St. John’s Cemetery, 223 Richards Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut; Veterans Section, Grave 45. Photo by webmaster.