SP4 Bobby Barcena, February 27, 1967
Bobby grew up in Spanish Camp, Hakalau, attended Hakalau School and graduated from Hilo High in 1965 where he was on the track team and known as a good sprinter. His father had immigrated from the Philippines in 1928 and worked for the Plantation.
SP4 Barcena was a field radio repairer with the 1st Signal Brigade, 37th Signal Battalion, 21st Signal Group, A Company. He was killed near Danang on February 27, 1967, in a Viet Cong mortar attack. He was 19 years old and had been in Vietnam for less than 2 months. Also killed in the attack were three other soldiers and a marine who were near communications vans loaded with electronics gear.
He was survived by his parents, 3 brothers and 5 sisters. On March 9, 1967, a Requiem High Mass was held for him at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church near where he grew up. In March 1967, a resolution introduced by Big Island Senator John Ushijima expressing sympathy to Bobby's family was passed. Also in March, the 5th grade class at Hakalau School wrote poems and essays in his memory.