Sp/4 GORDON  R. ROBERTS
Co B, 1st Bn, 506th Inf.
101st Airborne Division
Thua Thien Province, RVN
11 July 1969

 

Col. Roberts (then SP4)  was on special assignemnt as a field reporter for Stars & Stripes, with he 101st Airborne Div., during the battle of Ap Bia Mountain, also known as Hill 937, or my movie buffs as — “Hamburger Hill”

Roberts was unarmed except for his camera.   The platoon was maneuvering along a ridge to attack heavily fortified enemy bunker positions which had pinned down an adjoining friendly company when they  were suddenly attacked by heavy automatic weapons and grenade fire.  ROberts, being a paratrooper first and a reporter second, found a weapon and h=joined the frey.

Seeing his platoon immobilized and in danger of failing, Col. Roberts crawled rapidly toward the closest enemy bunker, leaped to his feet and charged the bunker, firing as he ran.  Col. Roberts silenced the 2-man bunker then continued his one-man assault on a second bunker a burst of enemy fire knocked his rifle from his hands.

Col. Roberts picked up a rifle dropped by a fallen comrade and continued his assault, silencing the bunker. He continued his charge against a third bunker and destroyed it with hand grenades.

Although cut off from his platoon, he continued his assault against a fourth enemy emplacement fighting through a hail of enemy fire to get to  the adjoining company which had been pinned down by the enemy.

Although continually exposed to hostile fire, where he assisted in moving wounded personnel from exposed positions on the hilltop to an evacuation area before returning to his unit.

Roberts remained in the Army until 1971, working as a social worker until he was recalled for Desert Storm in 1991. He remained active duty until 2012.

The last lines of Col. Roberts’ Medal of Honor citation read as follows:

“By his gallant and selfless actions, Sp/4. 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. Col. 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.”

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