Maj Robert Gordon “Buster” Cozart, Jr

Maj Robert Gordon “Buster” Cozart, Jr

Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, USA
Death 20 Mar 1970 (aged 23)
Cenotaph Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, USA
Plot Veterans Garden, Lot 18-D-4
Memorial ID 93647017 · View Source
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In Loving Memory ... Major Robert Gordon Cozart, Jr.
His remains were recovered on April 27, 1989 and identified on July 27, 2001.
Hi, I see you are attempting to track down his hometown headstone. I too am on the search. I was reading an article in The Advocate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana dated August 3, 1989. He remains were finally released from the Vietnamese. He was first sent to Honolulu, then to California. He was then being transported to Tuscaloosa, Alabama for burial. If I am able to track down the cemetery, I will let you know. At least we now know what state he is in.
FAG Volunteer-rw2009
5-23-2015 - I also wish to informally add to the list of Alabama casualties; Maj. Robert G. Cozart Jr., missing in action, March 20, 1970; his remains identified in July 1989 and now rest in the Veterans Garden at Memory Hill Gardens, in Tuscaloosa.

*** Captain Cozart was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 214th Aviation Battalion, 164 Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade. On March 20, 1970, he was the pilot of a Cessna Bird Dog Observation Aircraft (O-1G) on visual reconnaissance en-route to Tra Vinh, Vinh Binh Province, South Vietnam. Contact was lost and he was listed as Missing in Action. His remains were recovered on April 27, 1989 and identified on July 27, 2001. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in me, your brother, sisters and those who knew you and loved you. You will live on because we remember you!

Age: 32
Race: Caucasian
Date of Birth Feb 27, 1947
** While the profile lists you as being from Louisiana, those of us who grew up with you in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, want others to know that you were once among us. The fact you graduated from Tuscaloosa High School and The University of Alabama is all of the proof.
Marital Status: Married - GAYLE H. COZART. Parents: Father, Robert Gordon Cozart,Sr., shows he is 97 yrs old right now and Mother, Namoi Desdy "Bay" Rinehart Cozart, born 26 May 1922 and she is 93 yrs old right now..She is a retired Nurse. Died 2 Sep 2018 (aged 96), Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, USA. She will be buried at Tuscaloosa Memorial Park, Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, USA
Your Sister, Betty Jean "BJ" Cozart Mccool, Born 1959.

***** He was the great grandson of William Rufus Rinehart and his wife, Caledonia Washburn, of Marion, Alabama. He was one of two great grandson's to be killed in South Vietnam.
Lee Cooke - second cousin
Austin, Texas, 78763,

***** Robert (Buster) Cozart and I were roommates at the 214th Combat Aviation Battalion's T&P Hotel (tin and plywood) - 'BOQ' - at Vinh Long at the time of his loss in 1970. Buster was the Battalion Safety Officer and I was the Battalion Communications Officer. Buster was such a pro - he so loved his flying.
After his O-1 went down the Army held its Flight Evaluation Board and I was assigned to help investigate various avionics aspects. When I left Vietnam, in May 1970, little more was known as to Buster's or his co-pilot's (CWO Butler) whereabouts.
As life's little connections often go, a few years later, the Army sent me back to school at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. One day the local newspaper ran a story about an MIA pilot whose family lived in Tuscaloosa - Buster Cozart! I visited with his family and still remember how gracious they all were despite no new news still by that time (circa 1973). I've since visited The Wall several times and located his name.
I thank all of you who wore that MIA bracelet for Buster all those years. Your respect and honor for a man you never met was no doubt of great solace for his family over those long years. I'm betting Buster is grateful for your vigilance too. He was good friend to all of us.
Frank Long
COL, US Army (Ret)

MAJ - O4 - Army - Reserve
Length of service 11 years
His tour began on Aug 22, 1969
Casualty was on Feb 27, 1979
Non-Hostile, died missing, HELICOPTER - PILOT

Body was recovered
Panel 12W - Line 24

Other Personnel In Incident: James E. Butler (missing)

On March 20, 1970, Capt. Robert G. Cozart, pilot, and WO James E. Butler departed Vinh Long, South Vietnam aboard an O-1G(serial #51-12899)on a visual reconnaissance mission over Vinh Binh Province with a stop at the Province capitol of Phu Vinh.

At 1028 hours, a radio transmission was received from WO Butler advising the Team 72 Tactical Operations Center that they were airborne and en route to Tra Vinh.

This was the last communication with the crew. The aircraft never landed at Tra Vinh.

Upon receiving notification that the aircraft was missing, a province-wide search was initiated.

All immediate search efforts were unsuccessful.

On August 1, 1989, the US announced the positive identification of Captain Cozart's remains, but WO Butler remained among the missing.
However, on 4 September 1997, WO Butler's remains were positively identified and returned to his family for burial in Lillington, NC, next to his father.

From Roger Bowers Fox 25, 36

"Buster" Cozart was a friend of mine when we were in the 199th. I participated in the very extensive and exhaustive search effort that was carried out during the days and nights after he and WO Butler went down. I believe their families would be gratified to know of the time, effort and resources that were deployed in an effort to find their loved ones. Unfortunately, all efforts were in vain. It is likely that both men were fatally wounded within a short time of their crash/shootdown.

It is my understanding (memories DO fade) that their aircraft was engaged by hostile ground fire, was hit and made a forced landing along the muddy banks of the Mekong or one of its several branches that form the Mekong Delta. I believe WO Butler was either wounded by the ground fire, in the subsequent landing, OR by enemy forces who closed on the crash site. I was given to understand that Captain Cozart, armed with only a .38 revolver, defended WO Butler until he was himself mortally wounded.

According to interrogations of the local populace, the bodies were displayed briefly in some nearby hamlets. I have heard that a local was found in possession of one of the men's watch. I also was told that sometime later, a 9-year-old boy led friendly forces to a shallow gravesite that had been excavated and was unoccupied. I believe some artifact(s) was/were found that led the search team to believe it/they belonged to one or both of the crew.
I was unaware of any further developments until Buster's remains were recovered and repatriated. I learned of this, while I was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on a drug interdiction operation with the Coast Guard. A brief article in the back pages of the base newspaper mentioned that Buster had come home. Sadly, the military had forgotten what an 0-1G is and identified it as a helicopter.

Please understand that this information is all second or third person at best and has surely undergone variations and permutations in my mind over the intervening 30 years. I must leave it to your discretion whether and with whom you might share it. I can only hope that it might help to answer a few of the questions that are sure to have been asked.

While we will never know with complete certainty exactly what happened to these two fine men, I believe this is substantially correct.
From Kirkuk AB, Iraq,
Roger P. Bowers, LCDR, USCG (Ret)
FOX 25, 36, Aloft 46,


Moving Wall Memorial gets and additional veteran
Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2001 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 7, 2001 at 11:00 p.m.

Dear Editor: On April 20, it was with mixed emotions that I passed Central High West and the Alabama Vietnam Moving Wall Memorial.

Approaching such a memorial might trigger a wave of grief that I really didn't want to face. I decided to stop and see if my husband's name was included on the memorial.

He was a 1965 graduate of Tuscaloosa High School, born and raised in Tuscaloosa and a life-long resident of Alabama except for the two years in college in Louisiana.

The Tuscaloosa Draft Board sent him "greetings" while in college and he entered the service from Louisiana. This has caused him to be omitted from any list of Alabama Service men.

The list of Tuscaloosa and Northport casualties from Vietnam in The News, April 24, left a hollow place in my heart because his name was not there.

I wish to thank the students and their sponsors of Central High School West for their efforts to remember those from their community who suffered and died in an unpopular war and the presentation of the play, "A Piece of My Heart". Also, special thanks to the Alabama Vietnam Veterans in charge of the Moving Memorial Wall.

I also wish to informally add to the list of Alabama casualties; Maj. Robert G. Cozart Jr., missing in action, March 20, 1970; his remains identified in July 1989 and now rest in the Veterans Garden at Memory Hill Gardens, in Tuscaloosa.


Find A Grave contributor, Cindi Ryan has fulfilled your photo request for Robert Cozart.

Thank you Cindi Ryan for the Headstone Photo...


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  • Created by: Eddieb
  • Added: 15 Jul 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 93647017
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Maj Robert Gordon “Buster” Cozart, Jr (27 Feb 1947–20 Mar 1970), Find a Grave Memorial no. 93647017, citing Memory Hill Gardens, Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Eddieb (contributor 46600350) .