Marvin J. Roberts

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Marvin J. "Buddy" Roberts graduated from Baton Rouge High School in 1961. He attended Louisiana State University and enlisted in the Army National Guard. During summers, he attended airborne and Special Forces training schools and graduated from Ranger School in 1963. Graduating from Officer Candidate School in 1964, he volunteered for active duty in 1965 and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division as a platoon leader. He was awarded the Silver Star for heroism under fire on June 20, 1966, while going to the aid of a company mauled near the village of Trung Luong. In September, he received the Army Commendation Medal for valorous actions under fire. He was injured when thrown from a jeep and recuperated in Japan and at Fort Benning, Georgia. After a promotion to Captain, he volunteered to return to Vietnam in 1969. On March 27, 1969, he led his unit against a well-entrenched enemy force near Cam Lo and was mortally wounded. In spite of his wounds, he called in artillery fire and air support and, following the bombardment, pressed his company forward. When an enemy grenade landed nearby, he threw it back at an enemy bunker, killing the occupant. When a concealed enemy machine gun fired on his men, he charged up the slope to silence it with a hand grenade and a pistol. He refused evacuation until the enemy position was taken and other casualties were treated. He died the following day and posthumously received the Distinguished Service Cross. A combat base at Quang Tri, South Vietnam, and the U.S. Army Reserve Center in Baton Rouge were named in his honor. Captain Roberts was inducted into the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame in June of 2001. He was laid to rest in Zachary, Louisiana.