Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Robert John Hibbs

  • Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company B, 2d Battalion, 28th Infantry,
    1st Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: March 5, 1966
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Don Dien Lo Ke, Republic of Vietnam
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 2d Lt. Hibbs was in command of a 15-man ambush patrol of the 2d Battalion, when his unit observed a company of Viet Cong advancing along the road toward the 2d Battalion's position. Informing his command post by radio of the impending attack, he prepared his men for the oncoming Viet Cong, emplaced two mines in their path, and, when the insurgents were within 20 feet of the patrol's position, he fired the two antipersonnel mines, wounding or killing half of the enemy company. Then, to cover the withdrawal of his patrol, he threw hand grenades, stepped onto the open road, and opened fire on the remainder of the Viet Cong force of approximately 50 men. Having rejoined his men, he was leading them toward the battalion perimeter when the patrol encountered the rear elements of another Viet Cong company deployed to attack the battalion. With the advantage of surprise, he directed a charge against the Viet Cong, which carried the patrol through the insurgent force, completely disrupting its attack. Learning that a wounded patrol member was wandering in the area between the two opposing forces and although moments from safety and wounded in the leg himself, he and a sergeant went back to the battlefield to recover the stricken man. After they maneuvered through the withering fire of two Viet Cong machine guns, the sergeant grabbed the dazed soldier and dragged him back toward the friendly lines while 2d Lt. Hibbs remained behind to provide covering fire. Armed only with a M-16 rifle and a pistol, but determined to destroy the enemy positions, he then charged the two machine-gun emplacements and was struck down. Before succumbing to his mortal wounds, he destroyed the starlight telescopic sight attached to his rifle to prevent its capture and use by the Viet Cong. 2d Lt. Hibbs' profound concern for his fellow soldiers and his intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.
Medal of Honor Recipient Robert J. Hibbs
Medal of Honor Recipient Robert J. Hibbs
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: January 26, 1967
    Fort Myers, Virginia, presented by Sec. of the Army Stanley R. Resor to his family
  • Born: April 21, 1943, Omaha, Douglas County, NE, United States
  • Died: March 5, 1966, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Greenwood Cemetery (MH) (8-42), Cedar Falls, IA, United States
  • Location of Medal: 1st Infantry Division Museum at Cantigny, Wheaton, IL

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