McGovern, Robert Milton, 1LT

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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1950-1951, 1542, 1st Battalion (Rifle) 5th Cavalry Regiment/A Company
Service Years
1946 - 1951


First Lieutenant

One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
District Of Columbia
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by COL Richard A. McMahon to remember McGovern, Robert Milton, 1LT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Washington, D.C.
Last Address
Wahington, D.C.

Casualty Date
Jan 30, 1951
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Korea, South
Korean War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: Section 3, Lot 1312-C

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Korean War Fallen
  1951, Korean War Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Basic Parachutist (1 Combat Jump)

 Unit Assignments
11th Airborne Division187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Divison
  1947-1950, 1542, 11th Airborne Division
  1950-1950, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team
  1950-1951, 1542, 1st Battalion (Rifle) 5th Cavalry Regiment/A Company
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Offensive (1950)
  1951-1951 Korean War/First UN Counteroffensive (1951)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
1st Lt. Robert Milton McGovern graduated from OCS at Fort Benning, Georgia in April 1947. He attended Airborne School and was assigned to the 187th Infantry Regiment, 11th Airborne Division, on occupation duty in Japan. After the outbreak of the Korean War, he and his brother parachuted into Kimpo Airfield with the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. He was later transferred to Company A, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, where he was killed in action on 30 January 1951. For his heroic actions on that day, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

1st Lt. Robert Milton McGovern is interred side by side with his brother 2nd Lt. Francis Jerome McGovern in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.  Jerome was also killed in action in Korea on 10 February 1951, only 11 days after his brother. He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action on that day.

Awarded posthumously for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to First Lieutenant (Infantry) Robert Milton McGovern, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company A, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Kamyangjan-ni, Korea, on 30 January 1951.

As First Lieutenant McGovern led his platoon up a slope to engage hostile troops emplaced in bunker-type pillboxes with connecting trenches, the unit came under heavy machinegun and rifle fire from the crest of the hill, approximately 75 yards distant. Despite a wound sustained in this initial burst of withering fire, First Lieutenant McGovern, assured the men of his ability to continue on and urged them forward. Forging up the rocky incline, he fearlessly led the platoon to within several yards of its objective when the ruthless foe threw and rolled a vicious barrage of hand grenades on the group and halted the advance. Enemy fire increased in volume and intensity and First Lieutenant McGovern realizing that casualties were rapidly increasing and the morale of his men badly shaken, hurled back several grenades before they exploded.

Then, disregarding his painful wound and weakened condition he charged a machinegun emplacement which was raking his position with flanking fire. When he was within ten yards of the position a burst of fire ripped the carbine from his hands, but, undaunted, he continued his lone-man assault and, firing his pistol and throwing grenades, killed seven hostile soldiers before falling mortally wounded in front of the gun he had silenced.

First Lieutenant McGovern's incredible display of valor imbued his men with indomitable resolution to avenge his death. Fixing bayonets and throwing grenades, they charged with such ferocity that hostile positions were overrun and the enemy routed from the hill.

The inspirational leadership, unflinching courage, and intrepid actions of First Lieutenant McGovern reflected utmost glory on himself and the honored tradition of the military services.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 2 (January 8, 1952)
Action Date: 30-Jan-51
Service: Army
Rank: First Lieutenant
Company: Company A
Regiment: 5th Cavalry Regiment
Division: 1st Cavalry Division

1st Lt. Robert McGovern was interred side by side with his brother 2nd Lt. Francis McGovern in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.  Francis had been killed in action 10 Februaray 1951.
Notes/Links: (many photos of brothers and family)
section=104&article=17574&archive=true (entitled, "Brother visits camp named for war hero," Stars and Stripes, 23 October 2003, by Ivana Avramovic.)

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