Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army
Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade,
Date of Action: March 16, 1966


The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Robert Paul Gipson, Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade (Separate). Specialist Four Gipson distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 16 March 1966 while serving as a member in a company conducting a search and destroy operation in the Republic of Vietnam. During the morning hours, Specialist Four Gipson's company was attacked by a large Viet Cong force employing numerous automatic weapons, small arms, mortars and recoilless rifles. Because of the intensity of the battle, available ammunition supplies were rapidly expended. At this time, Specialist Four Gipson unhesitatingly carried ammunition to the front line platoons. Moving up and down the heavily engaged front lines, he repeatedly exposed himself to intense hostile machine gun fire while resupplying the platoons with vitally needed ammunition. He then made a second trip through the bullet swept area to obtain additional ammunition, and again braved the intense hostile fire as he returned to the front lines with it. During the course of action, Specialist Four Gipson maneuvered to the battalion landing zone which was under constant .30 and .50 caliber machine gun fire. With complete disregard for his safety, he dauntlessly moved into the open while securing ammunition for the front lines, and then took up a firing position there. In the closing hour of the five-hour battle, he was mortally wounded by a burst of Viet Cong machine gun fire. Specialist Four Gipson's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

HQ US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 5951 (October 6, 1966)

Home Town: Athens, Georgia


DSC Awardees