Colonel Robert L. Howard

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Colonel Robert L. Howard

[headline h=”3″]COLONEL ROBERT L. HOWARD[sub_title]Medal of Honor[/sub_title][/headline]
[headline h=”4″]Rank and organization: [/headline]First Lieutenant, U.S.Army,
5th Special Forces Group(Airborne), 1st Special Forces

[headline h=”4″]Place and date: [/headline]Republic of Vietnam, 30 December 1968

[headline h=”4″]Entered service at: [/headline]Montgomery, Alabama

[headline h=”4″]Born: [/headline]11 July 1939, Opelika, Alabama

[headline h=”4″]Citation:[/headline] For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Howard (then SFC.), distinguished himself while serving as platoon sergeant of an American-Vietnamese platoon which was on a mission to rescue a missing American soldier in enemy controlled territory in the Republic of Vietnam.

The platoon had left its helicopter landing zone and was moving out on its mission when it was attacked by an estimated 2-company force. During the initial engagement, 1st Lt. Howard was wounded and his weapon destroyed by a grenade explosion. 1st Lt. Howard saw his platoon leader had been wounded seriously and was exposed to fire. Although unable to walk, and weaponless, 1st Lt. Howard unhesitatingly crawled through a hail of fire to retrieve his wounded leader.

As 1st Lt. Howard was administering first aid and removing the officer’s equipment, an enemy bullet struck one of the ammunition pouches on the Lieutenant’s belt, detonating several magazines of ammunition. 1st Lt. Howard momentarily sought cover and then realizing that he must rejoin the platoon, which had been disorganized by the enemy attack, he again began dragging the seriously wounded officer toward the platoon area.

Through his outstanding example of indomitable courage and bravery, 1st Lt. Howard was able to rally the platoon into an organized defense force. With complete disregard for his safety, 1st Lt. Howard crawled from position to position, administering first aid to the wounded, giving encouragement to the defenders and directing their fire on the encircling enemy.

For 3 ½ hours 1st Lt. Howard’s small force and supporting aircraft successfully repulsed enemy attacks and finally were in sufficient control to permit the landing of rescue helicopters. 1st lt. Howard personally supervised the loading of his men and did not leave the bullet-swept landing zone until all were aboard safely.

1st Lt. Howard’s gallantry in action, his complete devotion to the welfare of his men at the risk of his life were in keeping with highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

[headline h=”4″]Awards and Honors:[/headline] Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross (x2), Oak Leaf Cluster (x1)
Silver Star
Legion of Merit (x4), Oak Leaf Cluster (x3)
Bronze Star (x4), Oak Leaf Cluster with “V” device (x3)
Purple Heart (x8), Silver Oak Leaf Cluster (x1), Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster (x2)
Meritorious Service Medal (x3), Oak Leaf Clusters (x2)
Air Medal with “V” device and numeral “3”, Heroism (x1), Aerial Achievement (x2)
Joint Service Commendation
Army Commendation Medal with “V” device, one each Silver and Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, 4 awards for valor and 3 for achievement
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Good Conduct Medal with Good Conduct Loop (x4)
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Service Star (x3)
Vietnam Service Medal with Service Star (x3)
Armed Forces Reserve Medal
NCO Professional Development Ribbon with “2” device
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon

[headline h=”4″]Unit Citations:[/headline] Presidential Unit Citation (Army) with Oak Leaf Cluster (x2)
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army)
Navy Unit Commendation
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation w/ Palm
Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Unit Citation w/ Palm

[headline h=”4″]Foreign decorations:[/headline] Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry w/ Gold Star (Corps citation),
Silver Star (Division citation), Bronze Star (Rgmt/Brig)
Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal 1st Class
Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Medal 1st Class
Republic of Vietnam Wound Medal
Republic of Vietnam Staff Service Medal 2nd Class
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 Bar
Republic of Korea Order of National Security Merit

[headline h=”4″]Badges, Qualifications and Tabs:[/headline] Special Forces Tab
Ranger Tab
Combat Infantryman Badge
Expert Infantryman Badge
Aircrew Badge
Master Parachutist Badge
Pathfinder Badge
Air Assault Badge
Expert Marksmanship Badge
Vietnamese Ranger Badge
Vietnamese Master Parachutist Badge
Thai Master Parachute Badge
Korean Master Parachute Badge
Thai Balloonist Badge
French Parachutist Badge

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By | 2017-04-15T22:25:06+00:00 February 23rd, 2011|In Memoriam - Our Heroes|2 Comments