Born: September 30, 1931
Rank: Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, Company
A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division
Location of action: Quang Tri Province, Republic
Date of action: February 22, 1968
Medal received from: President Richard M. Nixon, March 2, 1971
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his
life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as commanding
officer of Company A, in action against the enemy in the northern
A Shau Valley. Capt. (then 1st Lt.) Fox’s company came
under intense fire from a large well-concealed enemy force.
Capt. Fox maneuvered to a position from which he could assess
the situation and confer with his platoon leaders. As they departed
to execute the plan he had devised, the enemy attacked and Capt.
Fox was wounded along with all of the other members of the command
group, except the executive officer.
Capt. Fox continued to
direct the activity of his company. Advancing through heavy
enemy fire, he personally neutralized one enemy position and
calmly ordered an assault against the hostile emplacements.
He then moved through the hazardous area, coordinating aircraft
support with the activities of his men. When his executive officer
was mortally wounded, Capt. Fox reorganized the company and
directed the fire of his men as they hurled grenades against
the enemy and drove the hostile forces into retreat. Wounded
again in the final assault, Capt. Fox refused medical attention,
established a defensive posture and supervised the preparation
of casualties for medical evacuation.
His indomitable courage,
inspiring initiative and unwavering devotion to duty in the
face of grave personal danger inspired his Marines to such aggressive
action that they overcame all enemy resistance and destroyed
a large bunker complex. Capt. Fox’s heroic actions reflect
great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and uphold the
highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
Fox dedicated 43 years of his life to service
in the uniform of the United States Marine Corps, retiring only
after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 62. By that time,
he had earned the unique distinction of working his way through
each and every Marine Corps rank, from private to colonel.
As a young corporal, Fox served in Korea, where he was wounded
in action. Over the following 16 years he worked his way through
all of the enlisted ranks from the lowest private to first sergeant.
While most servicemen would relish the accomplishment of rising
through each of the enlisted ranks and choose to sit out a few
more years to retirement, Fox used that opportunity to start
From second lieutenant he began working his way up through the
ranks of a Marine Corps officer, serving in his second war in
Vietnam as a first lieutenant in command of a company in the
1st Battalion, 9th Marines (1/9). The men of 1/9 called themselves
the “Walking Dead,” a nickname that proved all too
realistic during one of the Marine Corps’ last major offensives
of the Vietnam War. Fox was serving his second tour of duty
in his second war when he led the “Walking Dead”
of his company during Operation Dewey Canyon.
During the course of the three-month operation, Fox’s
Alpha Company suffered 75 percent casualties, the company commander
among them. Despite his wounds, Fox continued to lead his Marines
in battle, subsequently being awarded the nation’s highest
award for military heroism, the Medal of Honor. His award was
presented to him at the White House in 1971 by President Richard
M. Nixon. By the time he received the medal, Fox had risen to
the rank of captain.
Col. Fox, USMC (Ret.) recently finished eight years as the Deputy
Commandant with Corps Cadets at Virginia Tech.