Congressional Medal of Honor Society

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Vietnam War - U.S. Marine Corps

Thomas Elbert Creek

Details
  • Rank: Lance Corporal
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company I, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines,
    3d Marine Division (Rein) FMF
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 13, 1969
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Cam Lo, 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 rifleman with Company I in action against enemy forces. L/Cpl. Creek's squad was providing security for a convoy moving to resupply the Vandergrift Command Base when an enemy command-detonated mine destroyed one of the vehicles and halted the convoy near the Cam Lo Resettlement Village. Almost immediately, the marines came under a heavy volume of hostile mortar fire followed by intense small-arms fire from a well-concealed enemy force. As his squad deployed to engage the enemy, L/Cpl. Creek quickly moved to a fighting position and aggressively engaged in the firefight. Observing a position from which he could more effectively deliver fire against the hostile forces, he completely disregarded his own safety as he fearlessly dashed across the fire-swept terrain and was seriously wounded by enemy fire. At the same time, an enemy grenade was thrown into the gully where he had fallen, landing between him and several companions. Fully realizing the inevitable results of his action, L/Cpl. Creek rolled on the grenade and absorbed the full force of the explosion with his body, thereby saving the lives of five of his fellow marines. As a result of his heroic action, his men were inspired to such aggressive action that the enemy was defeated and the convoy was able to continue its vital mission. L/Cpl. Creek's indomitable courage inspired the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Medal of Honor Recipient Thomas E. Creek
Medal of Honor Recipient Thomas E. Creek
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Amarillo, Potter County, Texas
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 20, 1970
    The White House, presented by Vice Pres. Spiro T. Agnew to his family
  • Born: April 7, 1950, Joplin, Jasper County, MO, United States
  • Died: February 13, 1969, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Llano Cemetery (MH) (E-359) , Amarillo, TX, United States
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