American Valor
Stories of Valor
History of the Medal
About the Broadcast
For Teachers

James LivingstonJames Livingston

Born: January 12, 1940
Towns, Telfair County, Georgia

War: Vietnam

Rank: Captain, US Marine Corps, Company E, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade

Location of action: Dai Do, Republic of Vietnam

Date of action: May 2, 1968

Medal received from: President Richard Nixon May 14, 1970

Official Citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Commanding Officer, Company E, in action against enemy forces. Company E launched a determined assault on the heavily fortified village of Dai Do, which had been seized by the enemy on the preceding evening isolating a marine company from the remainder of the battalion. Skillfully employing screening agents, Capt. Livingston maneuvered his men to assault positions across 500 meters of dangerous open rice paddy while under intense enemy fire.

Ignoring hostile rounds impacting near him, he fearlessly led his men in a savage assault against enemy emplacements within the village. While adjusting supporting arms fire, Capt. Livingston moved to the points of heaviest resistance, shouting words of encouragement to his marines, directing their fire, and spurring the dwindling momentum of the attack on repeated occasions. Although twice painfully wounded by grenade fragments, he refused medical treatment and courageously led his men in the destruction of over 100 mutually supporting bunkers, driving the remaining enemy from their positions, and relieving the pressure on the stranded marine company.

As the two companies consolidated positions and evacuated casualties, a third company passed through the friendly lines launching an assault on the adjacent village of Dinh To, only to be halted by a furious counterattack of an enemy battalion. Swiftly assessing the situation and disregarding the heavy volume of enemy fire, Capt. Livingston boldly maneuvered the remaining effective men of his company forward, joined forces with the heavily engaged marines, and halted the enemy's counterattack

Wounded a third time and unable to walk, he steadfastly remained in the dangerously exposed area, deploying his men to more tenable positions and supervising the evacuation of casualties. Only when assured of the safety of his men did he allow himself to be evacuated. Capt. Livingston's gallant actions uphold the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.

Brigadier General JamesLivingston was born January 12, 1940 in Towns, Georgia, and attended Auburn University. A member of the Platoon Leaders Class while attending Auburn, he graduated with a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He also holds an M.A. degree in Management from Webster University (1984).

Upon completion of the Basic School, at Quantico, Virginia in December 1962, Livingston remained at the base to serve as Platoon Commander, Company A, Schools Demonstration Troops, and, later with Company H, 2d Training Battalion, Officer Candidates School.

Livingston’s career advanced through the ranks of command to Captain, and he was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam as Commanding Officer, Company E, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, where he earned the Medal of Honor.

Ordered back to the United States in November 1968, Livingston completed the Amphibious Warfare School, Junior Course, at Quantico. He again advanced through the ranks. In March 1975 he became the Operation Officer and participated in the Vietnam evacuation operations, which included the Republic of Vietnam Evacuation Force and Operation “Frequent Wind,” the evacuation of Saigon.

Returning to the U.S. in March 1976, he attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. Following graduation in May 1977, he was subsequently assigned as Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks, United Kingdom, in London.

In 1980 Livingston was selected to attend the Air War College. After graduation, he returned to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC, where he served as the Commanding Officer, 3d Recruit training Battalion and then as the Assistant Chief of Staff.

From February 1986 until June 1987 he was assigned as Commanding Officer, 6th Marine Regiment, 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C. He was then assigned as Senior Marine/Joint Plans and Programs Officer (Chief) at Joint US Assistance Group in the Philippines. While serving in this capacity, he was selected in December 1987 for promotion to brigadier general. Livingston retired from the Marine Corps a major general in 1995.

Of Note:
Medals and awards include:
The Medal of Honor
Silver Star, Bronze Star with combat “V”
Purple Heart
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star
Navy Commendation Medal
Combat Action Ribbon with gold star
The Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with gold star

General Livingston is also a qualified military parachutist.

©2003 GWETA