JAMES ALBERT GRAHAM, USMC (DECEASED)
Medal of Honor Citation
Captain James Albert Graham, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in June 1967, was born 25 August 1940, in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. He went to high school in Brandywine, Maryland. He received a B.A. degree in Mathematics upon graduation from Teachers College, in Frostburg, Maryland, in June 1963.
Prior to enlisting in the regular Marine Corps, he was a member of the U.S. Army (1955-57), the District of Columbia National Guard (1959-61), the U.S. Army Reserve (1961), and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (1961-63). He was discharged from the Marine Corps Reserve to accept a regular appointment in the Marine Corps, 30 September 1963.
He then attended the Officers Candidate Class, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, and was commissioned a second lieutenant, 1 November 1963.
After completing Officers Candidate Class in December, 2dLt Graham commenced naval air basic training at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida. He then attended The Basic School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, graduating in November 1964.
In January 1965, he was transferred to the 3d Battalion, 6th Marines, 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and served consecutively as a platoon commander of Company I, Executive Officer of Headquarters and Service Company, and Commanding Officer of Company M. During this period, Lt Graham participated in the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic expedition to protect the lives of Americans during the uprising there from April until June 1965. While stationed at Camp Lejeune, he was promoted to first lieutenant, 1 May 1965 and to captain, 1 September 1966.
In November 1966, he joined the 2d Replacement Company, Staging Battalion, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, for transfer to the Republic of Vietnam. Upon arrival in South Vietnam the following month, Capt Graham joined the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He first served as Commanding Officer of Company H, until January 1967, then became Commanding Officer of Company F. While in command of Company F on 2 June 1967, during Operation Union II at Quang Tin, Capt Graham chose to remain with one of his men who could not be moved due to the seriousness of his wounds, and was mortally wounded.
A complete list of his medals and decorations includes: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Organized Marine Corps Reserve Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Vietnamese Service Medal with one bronze star, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Vietnam War 1963-1975 Medal of Honor