||1stSgt Jimme E. Howard
1929 - 1993
The President of the United States, in the name of The Congress takes pride in
the MEDAL OF HONOR to:
GUNNERY SERGEANT JIMMIE E. HOWARD
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
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
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
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
PS. 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.
NAVY CHRISTENS NEW GUIDED-MISSILE DESTROYER HOWARD (DDG 83)
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
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.
Cpl. Jim O. Davlin
1/5 Hill 54