He was tagged “Killed in Action” and put on the pile of the deceased, but lived to receive the Medal of Honor 32 years later!
Corpsman HM3 Robert R. Ingram was a badass Navy Corpman attached to 1st Battalion, 7th Marines on a search and destroy mission against North Vietnam Army forces on March 28, 1966.
As they engaged the NVA the fight moved over a ridgeline toward an open paddy where the treeline suddenly exploded with machinegun fire from hundreds of NVA. Immediately many Marines were killed or wounded and the calls of “corpsman!” were everywhere. HM3 Ingram ran through the bullets to tend to a wounded Marine, and, as he reached him Ingram took a round through his hand. Being a badass, he ignored the pain and proceeded to not only help more patients but gather ammo from the dead and return it his Marines in need until he was again shot, this time through the knee. But the mangled hand and leg could not stop him as he moved on to other casualties.
As he neared another wounded Marine, an NVA soldier popped out of a tunnel and shot Ingram at short range through the head, the bullet entering his right eye, passing through his sinuses, and exiting the side of his skull at the jaw. But HM3 Ingram was not giving up and he shot and killed the NVA soldier.
He was now shot three times, blind in one eye, and could barely hear. He knew his head wound was life-threatening so he tried to move off the ridge, but as he saw more calls for “corpsman” on the faces of his brother, he crawled back to the battle instead. Ingram continued to seek out more casualties and continued to tend the wounded, gather magazines and resupply those capable of returning fire. While attempting to bandage a wounded brother Corpsman, he was shot through the groin, buttocks, and lower torso. But even in his condition, he would not give up.
Grievously wounded four times now, was finally returned to a friendly position, and even then he tried to refuse medical evacuation since he figured he was past help and others not so wounded should be saved ahead of him. When he was finally placed on a medevac helicopter, his vital signs were so weak that his bullet-riddled body was mistakenly tagged “killed in action”. It took 8 months of hospitalization for him to recover.
32 years after his badass actions, during a unit reunion, his fellow Marines realized the original petition for the Medal of Honor had been lost, and they re-submitted on Ingram’s behalf. He was finally recognized as the badass he was and received the Medal of Honor in 1998.