Al Kroboth was born in 1947 in Linden, New Jersey. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve on May 24, 1969, and entered Officer Candidate School at MB Quantico, Virginia, on September 30, 1969, receiving his commission as a 2d Lt in the Marine Corps on December 5, 1969. Lt Kroboth next attended Naval Flight Officer training at NAS Pensacola, Florida, and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in August 1970, followed by Bombardier/Navigator training at NATTC Glynco, Georgia, and A-6 Intruder training with VMAT(AW)-202 at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, from August 1970 to April 1971. He served as an A-6 Bombardier/Navigator with VMA-332 at MCAS Cherry Point from April to August 1971, and then with VMA(AW)-533 at Nam Phong Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from October 1971 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on July 7, 1972. After spending 264 days in captivity, Capt Kroboth was released during Operation Homecoming on March 27, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Arlington, Virginia, and then was medically retired from the Marine Corps on September 30, 1973.
His Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:
For meritorious achievement while interned as a Prisoner of War (POW) in Southeast Asia from July 1972 to March 1973. While suffering severe injuries after ejecting from his aircraft and in excruciating pain, Captain (then First Lieutenant) Kroboth nonetheless withstood harsh treatment and public displays, and refused medical aid offered in return for his cooperation. Steadfastly resisting the demands of his captors, he conducted himself in strict accordance with the Code of Conduct and clearly demonstrated his loyalty and professionalism. By spending many hours tending his sick and wounded fellow POW's and using his ingenuity to boos their spirits, he improved the physical condition and morale of his fellow prisoners. By his unselfish dedication to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself, the Marine Corps, and the United States Naval Service.
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.