Corporal Robert H. Bell

Corporal Robert H. Bell

Delaware State Police, Delaware

End of Watch Tuesday, September 7, 1993

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Robert H. Bell

Corporal Bell died after contracting AIDS from a blood transfusion received following a line of duty injury.

On January 14, 1981, Corporal Bell was assisting another trooper during a struggle with a suicidal man on Kirkwood Highway. During the struggle, Corporal Bell received a severe back injury, which required surgery and a blood transfusion. The blood he received during the surgery was tainted with AIDS, which Corporal Bell then contracted. The blood was traced to the original donor, who was confirmed to be suffering from the virus as well.

Corporal Bell was a United States Marine Corps Reserve veteran and had served with the Delaware State Police for 11 years. He was survived by his wife, three sons, a daughter, three sisters, and five grandsons.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge 396
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Duty related illness
  • Incident Date Wednesday, January 14, 1981

communicable disease, officer assistance

Most Recent Reflection

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Cpl. Bell,
On today, the 30th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the USMCR. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!
A fellow LEO;former Marine

United States Border Patrol

September 7, 2023

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