Congressional Medal of Honor
Hospital Corpsman Third Class
Robert R. Ingram
United States Navy
From Left to Right: Fran McQueeney, Robert R. Ingram, Harold Foley,
Jack Fandel, Paul Phipps.
Below is a reproduction of the citation honoring Robert R. Ingram
The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
CORPSMAN THIRD CLASS
for service as set forth in the following
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 in 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 splattered 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 would 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 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 dedication to duty, Petty Officer Ingram reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Ingram described the unusually close-knit camaraderie of the members of Charlie, 1/7, which spent more than three years together as a team.
"We were a company that had significant time in, compared to most of the companies that went over there. We were together three years and six months, which was unusual. We had very few peer problems, very few personal problems. We had outstanding leaders. It all made a difference."
In the end, it was that family spirit that Ingram said propelled him to do what he did that fateful day.
"We're not going to let our fellow Marines down," he said. "That was the mind-set from beginning to end. It was not a complex thing. You went on patrol, and the crap hit the fan. You did what you always did. We were very undermanned - and at that point you just pick up the slack The corpsman has to pick up the slack."
In the firefight, Ingram just kept picking up that slack. He said it was his duty to the company to keep going. A corpsman is more than just a "doc," he said. He's also a member of the team.
"You get hit; you get your butt out of there. You get hit again; you get out of there. The third time it was very evident to me that I wasn't going to make it out of there. But what are you going to do, go lie down and die? You get out of there and finish the job."
Ben Goodwyn, Charlie CO's commander, wrote Marine Corps Commandant General Charles C. Krulak to tell of Ingram's bravery that day.
"I saw my fair share of combat duty in Vietnam. Of all the men I brought with me, Doc Ingram was undoubtedly the most courageous."
A few days after the ceremony, back home in Jacksonville, Fla., Ingram said his medal honors all the men of Charlie, 1/7, as well as Navy hospital corpsmen everywhere. But the efforts of "his men" to see that he go his due mean a great deal to him as well.
"It's really a story about these men finding out that I didn't get it and pushing it through," he said. "They were a group of men who believed in me."