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By: Southern Utah Vets Aid

Medal of HonorAwarded posthumously for actions during the Vietnam War The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Corporal Larry Leonard Maxam (MCSN: 2141892), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 2 February 1968, while serving as a fire team leader with Company D, First Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in action against enemy forces in the Cam Lo District, Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam. 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, 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 machinegun position. Reaching the emplacement, he grasped the machinegun and commenced to deliver effective fire on the advancing enemy. As the enemy directed maximum firepower 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 machinegun 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 machinegun, Corporal Maxam fell to a prone position and valiantly continued to deliver effective fire with his rifle. After 11/2 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 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 U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

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