Sergeant First Class Rudolph Swoope was born on July 16, 1928, and was originally from Chicago, Ilinois. He served his country in the Vietnam War in the United States Army, as an infantryman in D Company, 1st Battalion, 505th Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division. He began his tour in Vietnam on December 29, 1968. Less than two months later, on February 27, 1969, SFC Swoope was killed in a gun battle in Binh Duong province, South Vietnam. He was 40 years old at the time of his death. SFC Swoope is buried at Chattanooga National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and is memorialized on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Panel 31W, Line 86. The following is a tribute to SFC Swoope:
SFC Swoope attended the drill instructor’s course at Fort Dix, New Jersey, with me in September and October 1968. I remember him as a calm and professional noncomissioned officer. As a very young NCO myself at the time (20), I looked up to and respected him for his experience. It was his untimely death just a few months later that caused me not to re-enlist in the Army in July 1969. I would have returned to Vietnam¬†for my second tour as an infantryman, and I felt that if SFC Swoope couldn’t beat the odds, what chance did I have.
–Submitted by James F. Gebhardt

I was RTO for Sargent Rudolph Swoope on his last ambush. Great man who loved his family, country, fellow soldiers, God! He talked about his family on a daily basis. God bless his family!
–Submitted by Darrell Tanner


  • Rank: Sergeant First Class
  • Date of birth:
  • 16 July 1928
  • Date of death: 27 February 1969
  • County: Hamilton
  • Service Branch: Army
  • Division/Assignment: 505th Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division
  • Conflict: Vietnam
  • Awards: Bronze Star, Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Chattanooga National Cemetery, Chattanooga, Hamilton County, TN
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XXII, Bottom Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor Rudolph Swoope

Image Gallery

Click a thumbnail below to view at full size.

Submit more information on this veteran →