Medal of Honor

 

 

McKIBBEN, RAY *

 

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Troop B, 7th Squadron (Airmobile), 17th Cavalry

 

Place and date: Near Song Mao, Republic of Vietnam, 8 December 1968

 

Entered service at: Atlanta, Georgia

 

Born: 27 October 1945, Felton, Georgia

 

Citation:

 

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, Sgt. McKibben distinguished himself in action while serving as team leader of the point element of a reconnaissance patrol of Troop B, operating in enemy territory. Sgt. McKibben was leading his point element in a movement to contact along a well-traveled trail when the lead element came under heavy automatic weapons fire from a fortified bunker position, forcing the patrol to take cover. Sgt. McKibben, appraising the situation and without regard for his own safety, charged through bamboo and heavy brush to the fortified position, killed the enemy gunner, secured the weapon and directed his patrol element forward. As the patrol moved out, Sgt. McKibben observed enemy movement to the flank of the patrol. Fire support from helicopter gunships was requested and the area was effectively neutralized. The patrol again continued its mission and as the lead element rounded the bend of a river it came under heavy automatic weapons fire from camouflaged bunkers. As Sgt. McKibben was deploying his men to covered positions, he observed 1 of his men fall wounded. Although bullets were hitting all around the wounded man, Sgt. McKibben, with complete disregard for his safety, sprang to his comrade's side and under heavy enemy fire pulled him to safety behind the cover of a rock emplacement where he administered hasty first aid. Sgt. McKibben, seeing that his comrades were pinned down and were unable to deliver effective fire against the enemy bunkers, again undertook a singlehanded assault of the enemy defenses. He charged through the brush and hall of automatic weapons fire closing on the first bunker, killing the enemy with accurate rifle fire and securing the enemy's weapon. He continued his assault against the next bunker, firing his rifle as he charged. As he approached the second bunker his rifle ran out of ammunition; however, he used the captured enemy weapon until it too was empty, at that time he silenced the bunker with well placed hand grenades. He reloaded his weapon and covered the advance of his men as they moved forward. Observing the fire of another bunker impeding the patrol's advance, Sgt. McKibben again singlehandedly assaulted the new position. As he neared the bunker he was mortally wounded but was able to fire a final burst from his weapon killing the enemy and enabling the patrol to continue the assault. Sgt. McKibben's indomitable courage, extraordinary heroism, profound concern for the welfare of his fellow soldiers and disregard for his personal safety saved the lives of his comrades and enabled the patrol to accomplish its mission. Sgt. McKibben's gallantry in action at the cost of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.


 

--- General / Personal ---

 

Last name: MC KIBBEN

First name: RAY

Home of Record (official): CEDARTOWN

State (official): GA

Date of Birth: Saturday, October 27, 1945

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Married

 

--- Military ---

 

Branch: Army

Rank: SGT

Serial Number: 14831777

Component: Regular

Posthumous promotion as indicated

Pay grade: E4

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 11B20

 

--- Action ---

 

Start of Tour: Sunday, February 5, 1967

Date of Casualty: Friday, December 6, 1968

Age at time of loss: 23

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Gun, small arms fire (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Binh Thuan

The Wall: Panel 37W - Row 052


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