Major Thompson, Robert H. USMC
Major Robert H. Thompson
U.S. Marine Corps
1st Bn., 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division
Date of Action: February 12 - March 3, 1968
The Navy Cross is awarded to Major Robert H. Thompson, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as the Commanding Officer, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in the Republic of Vietnam, from 12 February to 3 March 1968, while participating in Operation Hue City, Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Thompson aggressively led his battalion in intense fighting against well entrenched North Vietnamese forces within the Citadel. On 13 February, he deployed elements of his unit across the Perfume River to reduce enemy resistance in the southeast corner of the walled city. Almost immediately, small-arms, automatic weapons, and rocket fire from a large North Vietnamese force slowed his advance. Ignoring the intense enemy fire, he moved to an exposed vantage point where he rapidly assessed the situation and unhesitatingly moved across the fire-swept front of his battalion, directing the efforts of the company commanders and shouting words of encouragement to individual Marines, inspiring them to resume the momentum of the attack. Ordered to commence an attack northwest of the city on 28 February, Colonel Thompson fearlessly moved his command group with the attacking companies, repeatedly moving to the areas of heaviest contact in order to personally assist his unit commanders and influence the course of the engagement. When an attached company engaged a well entrenched North Vietnamese force on 1 March, Colonel Thompson accompanied a reinforcing unit dispatched to establish a blocking position to prevent the enemy's escape. Located with the lead elements, he personally coordinated supporting arms fire with the movement of the advancing Marines as they overwhelmed the enemy and accomplished the mission. By his intrepid fighting spirit, inspiring leadership, and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk, Colonel Thompson upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.