March 39, 1967 – John Paul Bobo Medal of Honor recipient (February 14, 1943 – March 30, 1967) was a United States Marine Corps second lieutenant who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Vietnam War on March 30, 1967.
John Paul Bobo was born on February 14, 1943 in Niagara Falls, New York. He attended Bishop Duffy High School where he is today distinguished as an honored alum. He graduated from Niagara University in Niagara Falls, New York, in 1965.
Bobo enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve on May 28, 1965 in Buffalo while attending Niagara University. He received a B.A. Degree in History in June 1965, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve on December 17, 1965. He completed the Officer Candidate Course, The Basic School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, in May 1966.
Bobo was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) in June 1966 and was assigned duty as the Second Platoon commander, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. While serving in Company I, 9th Marines, during Operation Prairie III, he was mortally wounded when a large number of NVA soldiers attacked his rifle company’s night ambush position (at Hill 70, west of Con Thien) in Quang Tri Province near the Demilitarized Zone in South Vietnam on March 30, 1967. Knowing his wounds would prevent him from making it to safety, Bobo ordered his men to retreat while he stayed behind alone to fight the North Vietnamese aggressors. His actions saved the lives of all of his men. For this, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
2nd Lieutenant Bobo’s official Medal of Honor citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Weapons Platoon Commander, Company I, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division, in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 30 March 1967. Company I was establishing night ambush sites when the command group was attacked by a reinforced North Vietnamese company supported by heavy automatic weapons and mortar fire. Lieutenant BOBO immediately organized a hasty defense and moved from position to position encouraging the outnumbered Marines despite the murderous enemy fire. Recovering a rocket launcher from among the friendly casualties, he organized a new launcher team and directed its fire into the enemy machine gun position. When an exploding enemy mortar round severed Lieutenant Bobo’s right leg below the knee, he refused to be evacuated and insisted upon being placed in a firing position to cover the movement of the command group to a better location. With a web belt around his leg serving as tourniquet and with his leg jammed into the dirt to curtail the bleeding, he remained in this position and delivered devastating fire into the ranks of the enemy attempting to overrun the Marines. Lieutenant BOBO was mortally wounded while firing his weapon into the main point of the enemy attack but his valiant spirit inspired his men to heroic efforts, and his tenacious stand enabled the command group to gain a protective position where it repulsed the enemy onslaught. Lieutenant BOBO’s superb leadership, dauntless courage, and bold initiative reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country