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First Name: John

Last Name: Bobo

Birthplace: Niagara Falls, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Buffalo, NY
Middle Name: Paul

Date of Birth: 14 February 1943

Date of Death: 30 March 1967

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Years Served: 1965-1967
John Paul Bobo

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


John Paul Bobo
Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

John Paul Bobo was born on 14 February 1943 in Niagara Falls, NY, the son of Paul Arthur and S. Jane Horan Bobo. He attended Bishop Duffy High School where he is today considered distinguished alumni. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve on 28 May 1965 in Buffalo, NY, while attending Niagara University. He graduated with a B.A. Degree in History from the University in June 1965.

John entered the 38th Officer Candidate Course in the 2nd Platoon of Bravo Company at Quantico, VA. Upon completion, he was commissioned as a Marine Corps Reserve Second Lieutenant on 17 December 1965. At The Basic School in Quantico, he was assigned to Basic Class 3-66 in the 1st Platoon of Echo Company and completed that course in May 1966.

Following graduation, 2ndLt Bobo was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam where he was assigned duty as platoon commander, Company I (affectionately known as the “Flaming I”), 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Amphibious Force in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam.

On 27 March, 3rd Battalion was tasked with finding and engaging 2 battalions of NVA who were known to be operating 6 kilometers north northwest of Cam Lo. John was the Executive Officer and Weapons Platoon Commander (MOS 0302) for India Company. The 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines had been relieved of SLF duty in early March 1967 and were heli-lifted into Dong Ha. They were relocated by truck to Camp Carroll to provide perimeter security for a brief time and then began search and destroy operations north of Cam Lo.

At 18:00 on 30 March, the India Company CP group and two squads from 2nd platoon were establishing a night ambush site (YD 101651), when the Company came under heavy 60mm mortar and automatic weapons fire. The NVA force, estimated to be company-sized unit reinforced with heavy weapons, closed with India Company component during the mortar barrage. Despite the exploding mortars, John recovered a 3.5 inch rocket launcher from a Marine casualty and organized a new team. He directed the team’s rocket fire on the enemy machine gun positions to blunt the attack. When a mortar round nearly severed John’s right foot, he refused evacuation, and ordered that he be placed in a firing position. He strapped his web belt around the leg as a tourniquet and further jammed the leg into the ground to stop the blood flow. In this position, he covered the withdrawal of the command group to a more advantageous position by delivering accurate rifle fire on the advancing enemy. While his body was riddled with gunshot wounds, the time that his valiant actions bought were sufficient to allow the command group to reorganize and repulse the NVA attack. India Company’s casualties in the action included 16 KIAs including the Company Commander, Captain M. P. Getlin and 2ndLt John Bobo. Additionally, India Company suffered 52 WIAs, but John’s actions undoubtedly saved the lives of numerous India Company Marines. For his courageous actions in Quang Tri Province, John was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

At the time of his death, John was 24 years old and single.

Medal of Honor

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Weapons Platoon Commander, Company I, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division, in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 30 March 1967. Company I was establishing night ambush sites when the command group was attacked by a reinforced North Vietnamese company supported by heavy automatic weapons and mortar fire. Lieutenant Bobo immediately organized a hasty defense and moved from position to position encouraging the outnumbered Marines despite the murderous enemy fire. Recovering a rocket launcher from among the friendly casualties, he organized a new launcher team and directed its fire into the enemy machine gun position. When an exploding enemy mortar round severed Lieutenant Bobo's right leg below the knee, he refused to be evacuated and insisted upon being placed in a firing position to cover the movement of the command group to a better location. With a web belt around his leg serving as tourniquet and with his leg jammed into the dirt to curtail the bleeding, he remained in this position and delivered devastating fire into the ranks of the enemy attempting to overrun the Marines. Lieutenant Bobo was mortally wounded while firing his weapon into the mainpoint of the enemy attack but his valiant spirit inspired his men to heroic efforts, and his tenacious stand enabled the command group to gain a protective position where it repulsed the enemy onslaught. Lieutenant Bobo's superb leadership, dauntless courage, and bold initiative reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


The Medal of Honor was presented to 2ndLt John Paul Bobo's family on 27 August 1968 at Marine Barracks in Washington, DC, by Secretary of Navy Paul R. Ignatius.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart with Gold Star
Combat Action Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Vietnam Campaign Medal

He was also awarded the National Order of Vietnam, Knight

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The name John P Bobo is located on Panel 17E, Row 070.


The U.S. Navy has three classes of ships in its Marine Prepositioning Fleet - the newest class, built by General Dynamics and delivered to Military Sealift Command in the mid-1980s, is named the 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo-Class.

The lead ship of this class is the 673-foot long maritime prepositioning ship USNS 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo. Since 1985, the ship had been under long-term lease to Military Sealift Command from American Overseas Marine. On 16 January 2007, the Military Sealift Command purchased the USNS 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo.

The chow hall at the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School on Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA, is named Bobo Hall in his honor.

Death and Burial

Second Lieutenant John Paul Bobo was killed in action on 30 March 1967. He is buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Lewiston, NY.

[Thanks to Captain Dave Mellon, USMCR, a classmate of John Bobo in the 38th Officer Candidate Course / Basic Class 3-66, for the valuable information he provided for this bio. Capt Mellon also served as a platoon commander in Vietnam and was wounded. Thanks also to Jack Riley, Squad Leaderr, 2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines (1966-1967) for the photos he provided. He was with 2ndLt Bobo when he was killed. ]

Honoree ID: 899   Created by: MHOH




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