Robert  E.  Condon  
  Rank, Service
Lieutenant Commander O-4,  U.S. Navy
  Veteran of:
U.S. Navy 1957-1968
Cold War 1957-1968
Vietnam War 1966-1968 (KIA)

Robert Condon was born on July 2, 1934, in Aurora, Nebraska. He entered Officer Candidate School with the U.S. Navy on March 4, 1957, and was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, on July 25, 1957. Ensign Condon next attended Underwater Swimmers School at Naval Station Key West, Florida, from July to September 1957, followed by Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) School at Naval Powder Factory Indian Head, Maryland, from September 1957 to May 1958. He served as an EOD Officer with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit ONE (EOD-1) at NAB Coronado, California, from May 1958 to March 1960, and then on the Staff of Mine Squadron SEVEN from March to May 1960. LT Condon next attended Combat Information Center (CIC) Watch Officer training at U.S. Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center San Diego, California, from July to September 1960, followed by service as CIC Officer, Diving Officer, Operations Officer, and other duties aboard the dock landing ship USS Cabildo (LSD-16) from September 1960 to July 1962. He completed the Aircraft Control Course at Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center San Diego in October 1962, and then served as a CIC Officer and other duties aboard the light cruiser USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5) from October 1962 to September 1964. LT Condon next attended Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Nuclear Weapons Disposal training at Indian Head from September to December 1964, followed by service with the Commander, Naval Operations Support Group, Pacific, at NAB Coronado from January to July 1965. During this time he attended Basic Airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He attended Underwater Demolition Team Replacement Accession training with Class 036 at NAB Coronado from July to December 1965, and then served with Underwater Demolition Team TWELVE (UDT-12) at NAB Coronado from December 1965 until he was killed in action in South Vietnam on January 18, 1968. During this time, LCDR Condon deployed to Southeast Asia multiple times in 1966, 1967, and 1968. He was buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California.

His 1st Bronze Star Medal w/Valor Citation reads:

For meritorious achievement from 6 December 1966 to 15 January 1967 in connection with operations against communist insurgent forces, while serving as a Special Advisor to Commander Amphibious Ready Group for Operation DECKHOUSE V, in the Thanh Phong Secret Zone, Kien Hoa Province, Republic of Vietnam. In early December 1966, Lieutenant Commander Condon successfully led his team in covert beach and hinterland reconnaissance missions in the objective area to ascertain sounding date for the approaches to the Ham Luong and Co Chien Rivers, and collected vital hydrographic and intelligence information essential for planning and executing the operation. During the predawn hours of 6 January 1967, while aboard a WPB, he guided ST FRANCIS RIVER, COCONINO COUNTY, and WASHTENAW COUNTY over treacherous sand bars and into the Co Chien River to the initial assault anchorages. On 10 January 1967, he led the ST FRANCIS RIVER and the CARRONADE into the Ham Luong River. These were the first known transits into the Co Chien and Ham Luong Rivers by naval ships. Lieutenant Commander Condon's unerring navigational guidance of these ships was paramount to the success of the initial assault and, in the case of the Ham Luong passage, provided essential close-in naval gunfire protection to the troops ashore. On three separate occasions during these operations, he came under direct hostile fire. Lieutenant Commander Condon's outstanding leadership, judgment, initiative, and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.




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