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First Name: Gordon

Last Name: Roberts

Birthplace: Middletown, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Cincinnati, OH
Middle Name: Ray

Date of Birth: 14 June 1950

Rank: Colonel

Years Served: 1968-1971, 1991-2012
Gordon Ray Roberts
'Bird Dog'

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)
•  Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) (2003 - 2011)


Gordon Ray 'Bird Dog' Roberts
Colonel, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Colonel Gordon Ray Roberts, a U.S. Army officer, is a Medal of Honor recipient for his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty" on 11 July 1969 while an infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam War.

Gordon Ray Roberts was born on 14 June 1950 in Middletown, OH. Roberts enlisted in the U.S. Army from Cincinnati, OH, three days after graduating from high school at age 17. Following basic training, he attended the Infantry school, and was then assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and sent to Vietnam.

By 11 July 1969, he had already distinguished himself, being awarded both the Silver Star and the Bronze Star. On that day, Roberts single-handedly wiped out three machine gun nests, saving the lives of many fellow soldiers. For his heroic actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Sergeant (then Sp4c.), U.S. Army, Company B, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division.

Place and date: Thua Thien Province, Republic of Vietnam, 11 July 1969.

Entered service at: Cincinnati, OH. Born: 14 June 1950, Middletown, OH.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Roberts distinguished himself while serving as a rifleman in Company B, during combat operations. Sgt. Roberts' platoon was maneuvering along a ridge to attack heavily fortified enemy bunker positions which had pinned down an adjoining friendly company. As the platoon approached the enemy positions, it was suddenly pinned down by heavy automatic weapons and grenade fire from camouflaged enemy fortifications atop the overlooking hill. Seeing his platoon immobilized and in danger of failing in its mission, Sgt. Roberts crawled rapidly toward the closest enemy bunker. With complete disregard for his safety, he leaped to his feet and charged the bunker, firing as he ran. Despite the intense enemy fire directed at him, Sgt. Roberts silenced the 2-man bunker. Without hesitation, Sgt. Roberts continued his l-man assault on a second bunker. As he neared the second bunker, a burst of enemy fire knocked his rifle from his hands. Sgt. Roberts picked up a rifle dropped by a comrade and continued his assault, silencing the bunker. He continued his charge against a third bunker and destroyed it with well-thrown hand grenades. Although Sgt. Roberts was now cut off from his platoon, he continued his assault against a fourth enemy emplacement. He fought through a heavy hail of fire to join elements of the adjoining company which had been pinned down by the enemy fire. Although continually exposed to hostile fire, he assisted in moving wounded personnel from exposed positions on the hilltop to an evacuation area before returning to his unit. By his gallant and selfless actions, Sgt. Roberts contributed directly to saving the lives of his comrades and served as an inspiration to his fellow soldiers in the defeat of the enemy force. Sgt. Roberts' extraordinary heroism in action at the risk of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

On 2 March 1971, he was presented the Medal of Honor by President Richard M. Nixon. Roberts was the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient and the only one still on active duty until 2010, when Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta was awarded the medal.

Post-Vietnam Life

Following his first enlistment in the Army, Roberts attended the University of Dayton and received a Bachelor's degree in Sociology in 1974. He married and became the father of a son and a daughter. After eighteen years as a social worker, he returned to the Army and received a direct commission as an officer. He then came on active duty in 1991. His past assignments include eight years of company and field grade command assignments in Korea, Fort Bragg, Haiti, Fort Gordon and Iraq as well as staff assignments at Hunter Army Airfield, Fort Benning, and Kuwait. From June 2008 through June 2010 he served as the Brigade Commander for Walter Reed Army Medical Center. On 1 July 2010, he began duty as command surgeon for the 1st Theater Sustainment Command at Fort Bragg, NC.

Roberts retired from the Army on 18 May 2012.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Silver Star Medal
Bronze Star Medal
Air Medal
Army Commendation Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Combat Infantryman Badge
Parachutist Badge

Presidential Unit Citation

Honoree ID: 1069   Created by: MHOH




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