American Valor
Stories of Valor
History of the Medal
About the Broadcast
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Wesley FoxWesley Fox

Born: September 30, 1931
Herndon, VA

War: Vietnam

Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division

Location of action: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam

Date of action: February 22, 1968

Medal received from: President Richard M. Nixon, March 2, 1971

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 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 all over.

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.

Of Note:
Col. Fox, USMC (Ret.) recently finished eight years as the Deputy Commandant with Corps Cadets at Virginia Tech.

Further Information:

©2003 GWETA