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Vietnam War - U.S. Marine Corps

Larry Leonard Maxam

Details
  • Rank: Corporal
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company D, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines,
    3d Marine Division (Rein) FMF
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 2, 1968
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Cam Lo District, Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam
Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a fire team leader with Company D. The Cam Lo District Headquarters came under extremely heavy rocket, artillery, mortar, and recoilless-rifle fire from a numerically superior enemy force destroying a portion of the defense perimeter. Cpl. Maxam observing the enemy massing for an assault into the compound across the remaining defensive wire, instructed his assistant fire team leader to take charge of the fire team, and unhesitatingly proceeded to the weakened section of the perimeter. Completely exposed to the concentrated enemy fire, he sustained multiple fragmentation wounds from exploding grenades as he ran to an abandoned machine-gun position. Reaching the emplacement, he grasped the machine gun and commenced to deliver effective fire on the advancing enemy. As the enemy directed maximum firepower against the determined marine, Cpl. Maxam's position received a direct hit from a rocket-propelled grenade, knocking him backwards and inflicting severe fragmentation wounds to his face and right eye. Although momentarily stunned and in intense pain, Cpl. Maxam courageously assumed his firing position and subsequently was struck again by small-arms fire. With resolute determination, he gallantly continued to deliver intense machine-gun fire, causing the enemy to retreat through the defensive wire to positions of cover. In a desperate attempt to silence his weapon, the North Vietnamese threw hand grenades and directed recoilless-rifle fire against him inflicting two additional wounds. Too weak to reload his machine gun, Cpl. Maxam fell to a prone position and valiantly continued to deliver effective fire with his rifle. After 1 and one half hours, during which he was hit repeatedly by fragments from exploding grenades and concentrated small-arms fire, he succumbed to his wounds, having successfully defended nearly half of the perimeter singlehandedly. Cpl. Maxam's aggressive fighting spirit, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty, reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Medal of Honor Recipient Larry L. Maxam
Medal of Honor Recipient Larry L. Maxam
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 20, 1970
    The White House, presented by Pres. Richard M. Nixon to his family
  • Born: January 9, 1948, Glendale, Los Angeles County, CA, United States
  • Died: February 2, 1968, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchboel) (MH) (J-388), Honolulu, HI, United States
 

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