Robert Martin Patterson MOH

b. 16/04/1948 Durham, North Carolina.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 06/05/1968 near La Chu, Vietnam.

Robert M Patterson MOH

Patterson grew up in a family of tobacco farmers in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Patterson joined the United States Army from Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1966, and by May 6, 1968, was serving as a specialist four in Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment. During a firefight on that day, near La Chu, Thừa Thiên Province, South Vietnam, during the May Offensive, Patterson single-handedly destroyed a series of enemy bunkers. For his actions during the battle, he was awarded the Medal of Honor and promoted to sergeant.

In the mid-1970s, Patterson, by then a staff sergeant, served as a Basic Training drill sergeant at Fort Bliss, Texas. Patterson reached the army’s highest enlisted rank, Command Sergeant Major, and served in the Gulf War before retiring in 1991.

Patterson resides in Pensacola, Florida, having moved there in 2010.



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Patterson (then Sp4c.) 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-weapons and rocket-propelled-grenade fire from two enemy bunkers, Sgt. 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 machine-gun fire. Observing that his comrades were being fired on from a third enemy bunker covered by enemy gunners in one-man spider holes, Sgt. Patterson, with complete disregard for his safety and ignoring the warnings of his comrades that he was moving into a bunker complex, assaulted and destroyed the position. Although exposed to intensive small-arms and grenade fire from the bunkers and their mutually supporting emplacements, Sgt. Patterson continued his assault upon the bunkers which were impeding the advance of his unit. Sgt. Patterson singlehandedly 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. Sgt. Patterson’s action at the risk of his life has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.