Larry L. Maxam
Larry Leonard Maxam
Larry L. Maxam, posthumous Medal of Honor recipient
|Born||January 9, 1948|
|Died||February 2, 1968 (aged 20)|
Quảng Trị Province, South Vietnam
|Place of burial|
|Service/||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1965-1968|
|Unit||1st Battalion 4th Marines|
|Battles/wars||Vietnam War †|
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
Presidential Unit Citation (United States), Navy Presidential Unit Citation
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal w/ 2 service stars
Vietnam Military Merit Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/ palm
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Corporal Larry Leonard Maxam (January 9, 1948- February 2, 1968) was a United States Marine who posthumously received the United States' highest military honor — the Medal of Honor — for heroism in the Vietnam War in February 1968,
Larry Maxam was born on January 9, 1948, in Glendale, California. He attended Emerson Primary School, John Muir Junior High and Burbank High School, in Burbank, California, leaving the latter in 1964. Maxam was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in Los Angeles on March 8, 1965. After completing recruit training with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in June 1965, he served briefly with the Casual Section of the 2nd Infantry Training Regiment at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. He then completed individual combat training with Company A, at Camp Pendleton, in July 1965. From August 1965 until February 1966, he served with the Marine Aviation Detachment, Naval Air Technical Training Center Jacksonville.
Transferred to the 2nd Battalion 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, he served as a rifleman with Company H. In November 1966, he joined the rolls of Company E, but served on temporary additional duty as a fireman with Headquarters and Service Company, Officer Candidates School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, and as a rifleman attached to Camp Garcia, Force Troops, Vieques, Puerto Rico. He was promoted to private first class on April 1, 1966, and to Lance Corporal on January 1, 1967.
Lance Corporal Maxam next served as a rifleman with Company F, Battalion Landing Team 2/8, in the Caribbean, until May 1967. In July 1967, he arrived in the Republic of Vietnam, and served as a rifleman, radioman, and squad leader with Company D, 1st Battalion 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. He was promoted to Corporal on October 1, 1967. While participating in Operation Kentucky on February 2, 1968, he was killed in action at Cam Lộ District Headquarters in Quảng Trị Province, Vietnam.
Awards and honors
Maxam's medals and decorations include:
|Medal of Honor||Purple Heart||Navy Presidential Unit Citation||National Defense Service Medal|
|Vietnam Service Medal w/ 2 service stars||Vietnam Military Merit Medal||Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/ palm||Vietnam Campaign Medal|
Medal of Honor citation
CORPORAL LARRY L. MAXAM
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following 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, First Battalion, Fourth Marines, Third Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam. On 2 February 1968, 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 defensive perimeter. Corporal Maxam, observed 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 and commenced to deliver effective fire on the advancing enemy. As the enemy directed maximum fire power against the determined Marine, Corporal 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, Corporal Maxam courageously resumed 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, Corporal Maxam fell to a prone position and valiantly continued to deliver effective fire with his rifle. After one and a 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 one half of the perimeter single-handedly. Corporal 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 United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
/S/ RICHARD M. NIXON
- Notable persons buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Retrieved 2006-06-23. Archived June 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- "Larry Leonard Maxam". mishalov.com. Retrieved 2006-07-04.
- "Corporal Larry Leonard Maxam, USMC, Who's Who in Marine Corps History, History Division, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 2009-08-19". Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- "Cpl Larry L. Maxam, Medal of Honor, 1968, 1/4/3, Vietnam, Medal of Honor citation. Retrieved 2006-06-23". Archived from the original on July 14, 2007. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- Dennis McCarthy (2015-05-21). "Larry Maxam: the real meaning of Memorial Day". The LA Daily News. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
- Santelli, James S. Brief History of the 4th Marines, Historical Division, United States Marine Corps, 1970. Retrieved 2006-06-23.