Medal of Honor

 

 

HARTSOCK, ROBERT W. *

 

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 44th Infantry Platoon Scout Dog, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division

 

Place and date: Hau Nghia, Province, Republic of Vietnam, 23 February 1969

 

Entered service at: Fairmont, West Virginia

 

Born: 24 January 1945, Cumberland, Maryland

 

Citation:

 

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Hartsock, distinguished himself in action while serving as section leader with the 44th Infantry Platoon. When the Dau Tieng Base Camp came under a heavy enemy rocket and mortar attack, S/Sgt. Hartsock and his platoon commander spotted an enemy sapper squad which had infiltrated the camp undetected. Realizing the enemy squad was heading for the brigade tactical operations center and nearby prisoner compound, they concealed themselves and, although heavily outnumbered, awaited the approach of the hostile soldiers. When the enemy was almost upon them, S/Sgt. Hartsock and his platoon commander opened fire on the squad. As a wounded enemy soldier fell, he managed to detonate a satchel charge he was carrying. S/Sgt. Hartsock, with complete disregard for his life, threw himself on the charge and was gravely wounded. In spite of his wounds, S/Sgt. Hartsock crawled about 5 meters to a ditch and provided heavy suppressive fire, completely pinning down the enemy and allowing his commander to seek shelter. S/Sgt. Hartsock continued his deadly stream of fire until he succumbed to his wounds. S/Sgt. Hartsock's extraordinary heroism and profound concern for the lives of his fellow soldiers were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

 

Thanks to Joe Gunja for the above photos

 

Mr. Joe Gunja is the warden of the Federal Correctional Institution located in Cumberland Maryland. The Correctional Institution is located about 12 miles from where Robert Hartsock grew up. So, on Saturday 13 November 1999, Joe Gunja and the staff of the Federal Correctional Institution honored the memory of Robert Hartsock.

Go Here: Read a newspaper article published by the Cumberland Times-News, about the ceremony which took place at Rocky Gap Veteran's Cemetery, Flinstone, Maryland.

 

Joe Gunja on the left and Bruce Whitaker president of the local chapter of the Vietnam Veteran's of America.

 

Vietnam Veteran's of America Color Guard at grave side ceremony.

 

Thanks to:

1. Joe Gunja and the staff of Federal Corrections Institution, Cumberland, Maryland.

2. Vietnam Veteran's of America Chapter 172, Cumberland, Maryland.

3. Rocky Gap Veteran's Cemetery, Flinstone, Maryland.


--- General / Personal ---

 

Last name: HARTSOCK

First name: ROBERT WILLARD

Home of Record (official): CUMBERLAND

State (official): MD

Date of Birth: Wednesday, January 24, 1945

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single

 

--- Military ---

 

Branch: Army

Rank: SSG

Serial Number: 51907015

Component: Selective Service

Posthumous promotion as indicated

Pay grade: E5

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 11F20

 

--- Action ---

 

Start of Tour: Friday, May 17, 1968

Date of Casualty: Sunday, February 23, 1969

Age at time of loss: 24

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Gun, small arms fire (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Binh Duong

The Wall: Panel 31W - Row 003

 


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