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Force Recon Association
1st Reconnaissance Battalion - Swift Silent Deadly
In Memory of
  1stSgt Jimme E. Howard
1929 - 1993

MOH.gif (10127 bytes) Jimme E. Howard

        The President of the United States, in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting



for service as set forth in the following


                             For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty. G/Sgt. Howard and his 18-man platoon were occupying an observation post deep within enemy-controlled territory. Shortly after midnight a Viet Cong force of estimated battalion size approached the Marines' position and launched a vicious attack with small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire. Reacting swiftly and fearlessly in the face of the overwhelming odds, G/Sgt. Howard skillfully organized his small but determined force into a tight perimeter defense and calmly moved from position to position to direct his men's fire.  Throughout the night, during assault after assault, his courageous example and firm leadership inspired and motivated his men to withstand the unrelenting fury of the hostile fire in the seemingly hopeless situation. He constantly shouted encouragement to his men and exhibited imagination and resourcefulness in directing their return fire.  When fragments of an exploding enemy grenade wounded him severely and prevented him from moving his legs, he distributed his ammunition to the remaining members of his platoon and proceeded to maintain radio communications and direct air strikes on the enemy with uncanny accuracy. At dawn, despite the fact that 5 men were killed and all but 1 wounded, his beleaguered platoon was still in command of its position. When evacuation helicopters approached his position, G/Sgt. Howard warned them away and called for additional air strikes and directed devastating small-arms fire and air strikes against enemy automatic weapons positions in order to make the landing zone as secure as possible. Through his extraordinary courage and resolute fighting spirit, G/Sgt. Howard was largely responsible for preventing the loss of his entire platoon. His valiant leadership and courageous fighting spirit served to inspire the men of his platoon to heroic endeavor in the face of overwhelming odds, and reflect the highest credit upon G/Sgt. Howard, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service.

Lyndon B. Johnson


Footnote: From an article in the Milwaukee Journal dated 8/21/67. Jimmie Howard was a native of Burlington, Iowa but at the time of his death he was residing in San Diego, California. His wife, his son and 5 daughters were in attendence when Gunnery Sergeant Howard was presented the Medal of Honor. It is also noteworthy to mention that of the 18 men (including Gunnery Sergeant Howard)who engaged the Viet Cong Battalion of more than 300 men, 12 survived. Four platoon members were awarded the Navy Cross and the other 13 recieved the Silver Star for heroic action. The Marine unit killed 200 of the Viet Cong during the 12 hour attack. Gunnery Sergeant Jimmie Howard had also been awarded the Silver Star in previous combat action during the Korean war. 

  After Jimmie Howard retired as a Master Sgt, he went to work for the VA. He never stopped serving.  Jimmie and I talked several times after he retired.  Jimmie pasted away in 1996.

Footnote 2:

An Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer, HOWARD (DDG 83), was christened
Saturday, Nov. 20, 1999, during a 9 a.m. EST ceremony at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Alford L. McMichael delivered the ceremony's principal address. Theresa M. Howard served as ship's sponsor in honor of her late husband. Her co-sponsor, Jill Hultin, wife of Under Secretary of the Navy Jerry Hultin, joined Howard in the time-honored Navy tradition of breaking a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen HOWARD.

The ship is named in honor of Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Jimmie E. Howard, (1929-1993), recipient of the Medal of Honor for his leadership of a platoon against repeated attacks by a battalion-sized Viet Cong force. After receiving severe wounds from an enemy grenade, he distributed ammunition to his men and directed air strikes on the enemy. By dawn, his beleaguered platoon still held their position. Howard also received the Silver Star Medal for service in Korea. 

A previous HOWARD (DD 179) (1920-1945), named for Charles W. Howard, a U.S. Navy hero from the Civil War, earned six battle stars in World War II.

HOWARD is the 33rd of 51 Arleigh Burke class destroyers currently authorized by Congress. Truly multi-mission combatants, these destroyers are the most capable surface warships ever built. These ships can conduct a variety of missions, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the National Military Strategy.  Navy Cmdr. Joseph F. Nolan, a native of Massapequa Park, N.Y., is the prospective commanding officer of HOWARD.  Upon commissioning in the year 2001, HOWARD will be homeported in San Diego, Calif., with a crew of 340 officers, chiefs and enlisted personnel, as a member of the U.S. Third Fleet. The ship, built by Bath Iron Works, is 509.5 feet in length, and has a waterline beam of 59 feet. Four gas-turbine engines power the 9,238 ton ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.


To whom it may concern;                         

It is said that each person has 15 minutes of fame in his life. Well my brothers, I believe like wise, some of us are gifted to be in the presence of heros!  On 15 June, 1966, I was a PFC with Charlie 1/5.   We had seen a little action.

That evening we were called on to go to the aid of a Recon unit in deep shit.  To say I was a little scared is an understatement. Recon never gets in a little trouble they usually get in a shit storm.  And if they needed help you can bet the farm it was not going to be enjoyable.  We mounted up, boarded the choppers and were off.

These Marines were acting as a radio relay for another Recon unit.   As we approached,  all I saw were green tracers; not a red one in the bunch.   The pucker effect was total.  But we were waved off.  Seems that this crazy Recon guy said it was too hot to land: hell, that worked for me.

Shortly after that, as the sun came up,  we came onto the LZ at that God-forsaken hill.  What we did, the KIA's and WIA's we took, although heart wrenching, seems now just a side note to what had happened to those brave Marines on that Hill that night.  No movie will be made about it;  no history book will ever remember it; but I saw and helped some of this country's greatest heroes.  Below is the Citation for one of them.  That night one Medal of Honor was won, 3 Navy Cross's, numerous Silver Stars and God only knows how many Purple Hearts.  There were teenage boys that night that gave everything: they would never go home to buy that GTO or take Suzy to the Prom.

16 June, 1966,  I stood with the most gallant men our Marine Corps has ever produced.  There has never been a day since that I don't think of them.  Below is Gunny Howards Medal of Honor Citation, they are just words to some but not to me.

Respectfully Submitted;
Cpl. Jim O. Davlin
0311 64-68
1/5 Hill 54