Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Robert M. Patterson

Details
  • Rank: Sergeant (rank at time of action: Specialist Fourth Class)
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    3d Platoon, Troop B, 2d Squadron, 17th Cavalry,
    101st Airborne Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: May 6, 1968
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near La Chu, Republic of Vietnam
Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Patterson (then Sp4c.) distinguished himself while serving as a fire team leader of the 3d Platoon, Troop B, during an assault against a North Vietnamese Army battalion which was entrenched in a heavily fortified position. When the leading squad of the 3d Platoon was pinned down by heavy interlocking automatic-weapons and rocket-propelled-grenade fire from two enemy bunkers, Sgt. Patterson and the two other members of his assault team moved forward under a hail of enemy fire to destroy the bunkers with grenade and machine-gun fire. Observing that his comrades were being fired on from a third enemy bunker covered by enemy gunners in one-man spider holes, Sgt. Patterson, with complete disregard for his safety and ignoring the warnings of his comrades that he was moving into a bunker complex, assaulted and destroyed the position. Although exposed to intensive small-arms and grenade fire from the bunkers and their mutually supporting emplacements, Sgt. Patterson continued his assault upon the bunkers which were impeding the advance of his unit. Sgt. Patterson singlehandedly destroyed by rifle and grenade fire five enemy bunkers, killed eight enemy soldiers, and captured seven weapons. His dauntless courage and heroism inspired his platoon to resume the attack and to penetrate the enemy defensive position. Sgt. Patterson's action at the risk of his life has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

USED WITH PERMISSION, COPYRIGHT NICK DELCALZO
USED WITH PERMISSION, COPYRIGHT NICK DELCALZO
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: October 9, 1969

    The White House, presented by Pres. Richard M. Nixon

  • Born: April 16, 1948, Durham, Durham County, NC, United States
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