Read the Congressional Medal of Honor Society announcement here.
Earned Nation’s Highest Award for Valor during the Vietnam War
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – The Congressional Medal of Honor Society regretfully announces that John Lee Canley, Medal of Honor recipient, passed away Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Bend, Oregon.
From Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, 1968, Canley, then a gunnery sergeant, was ordered to lead the men of Company A, First Battalion, First Marine Regiment, First Marine Division, into Hue City, Vietnam, to relieve surrounded friendly forces. As they moved rapidly along the highway along the southern outskirts of the city, his Marines came under intense enemy attacks.
Canley was noted to be fearless. He purposefully drew enemy fire to himself to pinpoint the location of enemy emplacements and then led attacks to eliminate the threats. He repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to pull wounded Marines to safety. Once in the city, he expertly led his men in room-to-room fighting to overtake enemy troops. Over a period of a week, Canley continually set the example for all to follow. Through his indominable spirit, expert fighting skills, and encouragement, his men were successful in their efforts.
For his actions over the course of those days, Canley was presented the Medal of Honor by President Donald J. Trump, in a White House ceremony, on Oct. 17, 2018.
Canley was born Dec. 20, 1937, in Caledonia, Arkansas, and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in Little Rock, Arkansas. He leaves behind several siblings, three children, a stepson, and two grandchildren.
There are now 64 Medal of Honor recipients alive today.
About the Congressional Medal of Honor Society
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Medal of Honor and its Recipients, inspiring Americans, and supporting the Recipients as they connect with communities across the country.
Chartered by Congress in 1958, its membership consists exclusively of those individuals who have received the Medal of Honor. There are 64 living Recipients.
The Society carries out its mission through outreach, education and preservation programs, including the Medal of Honor Museum, Congressional Medal of Honor Outreach Programs, the Congressional Medal of Honor Character Development Program, and the Congressional Medal of Honor Citizen Honors Awards for Valor and Service. The Society’s programs and operations are funded by donations.
As part of Public Law 106-83, the Medal of the Honor Memorial Act, the Medal of Honor Museum, which is co-located with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s headquarters on board the U.S.S. Yorktown at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, was designated as one of three national Medal of Honor sites.
Learn more about the Medal of Honor and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s initiatives at https://www.cmohs.org.
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