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First Name: Robert

Last Name: Hibbs

Birthplace: Omaha, NE, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Des Moines, IA
Middle Name: John

Date of Birth: 21 April 1943

Date of Death: 05 March 1966

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Years Served: 1964 - 1966
Robert John Hibbs

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Robert J. Hibbs
Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Second Lieutenant Robert John Hibbs (21 April 1943 - 5 March 1966) was a United States Army officer and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration-the Medal of Honor-for his actions in the Vietnam War.

Robert John Hibbs was born on 21 April 1943 in Omaha, NE. He joined the Army from Des Moines, IA. On 5 March 1966, he was serving as a second lieutenant in Company B, 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. He had earned his commission from the ROTC program at the University of Northern Iowa. On that day, at Don Dien Lo Ke in the Republic of Vietnam, his patrol spotted a Viet Cong force approaching the 2nd Battalion's position. Hibbs led his small group in an attack on the enemy force and, with another soldier, volunteered to rescue a wounded comrade. After reaching the wounded man, Hibbs stayed behind to provide covering fire and was mortally wounded while attacking an enemy machine gun emplacement. For his actions during the battle, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor a year later on 24 February 1967.

Medal of Honor

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of 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 2 mines in their path and, when the insurgents were within 20 feet of the patrol's position, he fired the 2 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 2 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 2 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 with only an M-16 rifle and a pistol, but determined to destroy the enemy positions, he then charged the 2 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. Hibb's 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.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Robert John Hibbs' name is inscribed on Panel 05E - Line 118.


Second Lieutenant Hibbs was honored by having a section of the University of Northern Iowa campus renamed in his honor, and a flagpole and monument erected with his name on it, just east of the West Gym.

Death and Burial

Second Lieutenant Robert John Hibbs was killed in action on 5 March 1966. He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Cedar Falls, IA.

Honoree ID: 969   Created by: MHOH




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