Robert R Ingram
Robert was born on the 20th of January, 1945 in Clearwater, Florida. Eighteen years later, he joined the US Navy from Coral Gables and after he completed recruit training, Robert attended Hospital Corps School in San Diego, California. Robert had developed pneumonia during boot camp and it was his time in the infirmary that gave him a better look at what went on in the medical corps and he then changed his job to Hospital Corps. After completing the Field Medical Service School at Camp Pendleton, he was assigned to B Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. First Battalion was deployed to Vietnam from Okinawa in July of 1965 and not only did Robert receive a Silver Star for treating Marines while under fire on the 8th of February, but his actions one month later would also earn him the Medal of Honor. The citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Corpsman with Company C, First Battalion, Seventh Marines against elements of a North Vietnam Aggressor (NVA) battalion in Quang Ngai Province Republic of Vietnam on 28 March 1966. Petty Officer Ingram accompanied the point platoon as it aggressively dispatched an outpost of an NVA battalion. The momentum of the attack rolled off a ridge line down a tree covered slope to a small paddy and a village beyond. Suddenly, the village tree line exploded with an intense hail of automatic rifle fire from approximately 100 North Vietnamese regulars. In mere moments, the platoon ranks were decimated. Oblivious to the danger, Petty Officer Ingram crawled across the bullet spattered terrain to reach a downed Marine. As he administered aid, a bullet went through the palm of his hand. Calls for "CORPSMAN" echoed across the ridge. Bleeding, he edged across the fire swept landscape, collecting ammunition from the dead and administering aid to the wounded. Receiving two more wounds before realizing the third wound was life-threatening, he looked for a way off the face of the ridge, but again he heard the call for corpsman and again, he resolutely answered. Though severely wounded three times, he rendered aid to those incapable until he finally reached the right flank of the platoon. While dressing the head wound of another corpsman, he sustained his fourth bullet wound. From sixteen hundred hours until just prior to sunset, Petty Officer Ingram pushed, pulled, cajoled, and doctored his Marines. Enduring the pain from his many wounds and disregarding the probability of his demise, Petty Officer Ingram's intrepid actions saved many lives that day. By his indomitable fighting spirit, daring initiative, and unfaltering dedications to duty, Petty Officer Ingram reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
When Robert was loaded on to a medevac helicopter, the crew had actually tagged him as killed in action since his vitals were virtually unreadable. His face wound was from a bullet entering beneath his right eye and exiting where the left side of his jaw attached, traveling through his sinuses. He recovered and went on to become a registered nurse and started a family. During a reunion in 1995 with the 1st Battalion, Robert's comrades discovered that he had not been awarded the Medal of Honor that he had been recommended for.
For anyone that has spent time in the military, it should come as no surprise that “lost paperwork” was the reason given to why it took more than thirty-two years for Robert Roland Ingramto receive the Medal of Honor but he did so from President Clinton on the 10th of July, 1998 in a ceremony at the White House, with twenty-four of his comrades present.