About Robert Martin Patterson
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Sergeant [then Specialist Fourth Class] Robert Martin Patterson, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 2d Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at La Chu, Republic of Vietnam, on 6 May 1968. Sergeant Patterson 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 weapon and rocket propelled grenade fire from two enemy bunkers, Sergeant 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 machinegun fire. Observing that his comrades were being fired on from a third enemy bunker covered by enemy gunners in one-man spider holes, Sergeant Patterson, with complete disregard for his safety and ignoring the warning of his comrades that he was moving into a bunker complex, assaulted and destroyed the position. Although exposed to intensive small arm and grenade fire from the bunkers and their mutually supporting emplacements. Sergeant Patterson continued his assault upon the bunkers which were impeding the advance of his unit, Sergeant Patterson single-handedly 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. Sergeant Patterson's action at the risk of his life has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 65 (October 25, 1969)
Action Date: 6-May-68
Company: Troop B, 2d Squadron
Regiment: 17th Cavalry Regiment
Division: 101st Airborne Division