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Robert Milton McGovern

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U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Korea

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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, 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 a vicious barrage of hand grenades on the group and halted the advance. Enemy fire increased and 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. Within 10 yards of the position a burst of fire ripped the carbine from his hands, but, undaunted, he continued his one-man assault and, firing his pistol and throwing grenades, killed 7 enemy before falling mortally wounded in front of the gun he had silenced.

Robert McGovern is buried at Arlington, side-by-side with his younger brother Second Lieutenant Jerome McGovern, who was killed in action in Korea on February 10, 1951, just twelve days after Robert McGovern was killed in his Medal of Honor action. Jerome McGovern earned the Silver Star in his final heroic battle.

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Eleven days after Robert McGovern's Medal of Honor action his younger brother Jerome was also killed in action in Korea.  Jerome was awarded the Silver Star for his own heroism in that action.  Click on the thumbnail at left for a larger photo of Jerome McGovern

Photos Courtesy of Charles McGovern

Read the story of the McGovern Brothers

 

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