For heroic action on 17 November 1965, in the Republic of Vietnam.
For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, Specialist Four Robert L. Towles distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous action at Landing Zone Albany on 17 November 1965. During the course of an overland march, a numerically superior enemy force initiated contact with a heavy mortar barrage and struck from well-concealed positions cutting through the battalion's line of march. Disregarding his wounds and own personal safety, Specialist Four Towles unhesitatingly exposed himself to the heavy enemy fire and single-handedly attacked and disabled an enemy machine gun position. Stunned by the assault, enemy troops momentarily broke contact and fled, enabling the beleaguered troops to withdraw and evacuate their casualties. Specialist Four Towles returned and led his comrades toward the battalion's defensive and continued to hold back enemy troops until all of the wounded had been extracted. On arrival in the perimeter, he took an active role in the battalion's defense and proved instrumental in repelling major enemy assaults on the position. Though surrounded by enemy forces, Specialist Four Towles volunteered to leave the battalion's defensive perimeter and go into a contested battle area to retrieve tactical radios left behind. Specialist Four Towles' extraordinary heroism, indomitable courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 1st Cavalry Division and the United States Army.