Sergeant Robert E. O'Malley
Award: Veterans' Hall of Fame
Inductee was nominated by Former Senator Serphin R. Maltese
Robert E. O’Malley earned the Congressional Medal of Honor, for conspicuous gallantry in combat on August 18, 1965, as a Marine Corps Corporal in South Vietnam. On this day, in a definitive deed “at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty,” he raced across an open rice paddy into the enemy’s trench, attacking the Viet Cong, single-handedly killing eight. He then led his squad to re-enforce an adjacent unit and personally assisted the wounded. After regrouping the remnants of his unit, he forged ahead to the point of the heaviest fighting.
According to his Medal of Honor citation, when finally ordered to evacuate, he “gathered his besieged and badly wounded squad, and boldly led them under fire to a helicopter for withdrawal. Although three times wounded in this encounter, and facing imminent death from a fanatic and determined enemy... he continued to fire until his wounded men were evacuated. Only then, with his last mission accomplished, did he permit himself to be removed from the battlefield.”
Mr. O’Malley was promoted from Corporal to Sergeant in 1965, and was personally decorated by President Johnson on December 6, 1966. In addition to the Medal of Honor, he holds the Purple Heart, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star, and the Vietnam Service Medal.
Mr. O’Malley grew up in Woodside, Queens and is a member of the American Legion Continental Post 1424.