Robert John Hibbs

Second Lieutenant
Army of the United States
21 April 1943 - 05 March 1966
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Panel 05E Line 118

Medal of Honor

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Robert J Hibbs

The database page for Robert John Hibbs

4 Jul 2002

Robert John Hibbs was graduated from the State College of Iowa, now the University of Northern Iowa, with the Class of 1964. I too am a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, and I recently had the opportunity to help dedicate a memorial to him.

I think Lieutenant Hibbs' name needs to be on The Virtual Wall.

Medal of Honor
The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
posthumously to

Robert John Hibbs

Rank and organization:
   Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army
   Company B, 2d Battalion, 28th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division

Place and date:    Don Dien Lo Ke, Republic of Vietnam, 5 March 1966


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. 2LT 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 two mines in their path and, when the insurgents were within 20 feet of the patrol's position, he fired the two 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 two 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 two Viet Cong machineguns, the sergeant grabbed the dazed soldier and dragged him back toward the friendly lines while 2LT 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 two machinegun 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. 2LT 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.

Grave marker

Please visit the University's memorial to

Hibbs Memorial

Robert John Hibbs

A memorial initiated by one who remembers,
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

07 Nov 2003

Although I did not know LT Hibbs, I was in that battle that horrific day. It was a day of much death. I lost my foxhole bud that day, PFC Richard Nutt, and Platoon Sergeant Clifton Winningham also was killed in action. How did I come to survive????? I keep asking myself over and over.

PFC John Pelsynski C-2-28
First Infantry Division
170 N. Yonge St #105, Ormond Beach, FL 32174

17 Apr 2006

As a ROTC Cadet and future officer of the U.S. Army, I would like to thank Robert John Hibbs for his sacrifice. I hope to one day match the leadership and bravery 2LT Hibbs has shown. I hope to live up to the values that he and others who passed along with him have shown. I am proud to follow in his footsteps, and am forever grateful.

A thankful Cadet.
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The contact by 2LT Hibbs's ambush patrol developed into what is now known as the "Battle of the Lo Ke Rubber Plantation" - but regretably it's far from the only fight that took place at or near Lo Ke.

On this occasion 14 American soldiers died - six of them when a resupply helicopter was shot down. They were

  • A Co, 2nd Bn, 28th Infantry
    • SP4 Roy F. Harbison, Vancouver, WA

  • B Co, 2nd Bn, 28th Infantry
    • 2LT Robert J. Hibbs, Cedar Falls, IA (Medal of Honor)
    • SP4 James H. Page, Eagle River, WI
    • PFC Dennis M. Lyden, Warren, MI
    • PFC Dennis R. Ortwine, Detroit, MI

  • C Co, 2nd Bn, 28th Infantry
    • PSGT Clifton Winningham, Junction City, KS (Dist Svc Cross)
    • PFC Henry D. Lankford, Union, SC
    • PFC Richard E. Nutt, Champaign, IL

  • UH-1D tail number 63-12995:
      Aircrew, all B Co, 1st Avn Bn:
    • MAJ Lewis D. Bell, Fort Worth, TX, pilot (Dist Svc Cross)
    • CPT Robert M. Caliboso, Honolulu, HI, copilot (Dist Svc Cross)
    • SP5 Ray M. Barnwell, Newport, AR, gunner
    • SP5 Danny A. Neth, Richland, WA, crew chief
      Passengers, both HHC, 2nd Bn, 28th Infantry
    • CPT Richard N. Gereau, Muskegon, MI
    • SFC Gary W. Emmett, Lawton, OK

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who remembers.
E-Mail may be forwarded via the
4 Jul 2002

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 04/21/2006