Medal of Honor Citation

Larry Eugene Smedley, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in December 1967, was born 4 March 1949, in Front Royal, Virginia. He attended elementary schools in Berryville, Virginia, Augusta, Georgia; Union Park, Florida; and Howard Junior High School in Union Park, leaving the latter in 1964.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, 18 March 1966, at Orlando, Florida, then reported to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, and underwent recruit training with the 1st Recruit Training Battalion. In July 1966, he completed individual combat training with the 2d Infantry Training Battalion, 1st Infantry Training Regiment, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Upon completion of recruit training, Pvt Smedley served as a rifleman and fire team leader with Companies D and C, respectively, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune. He was promoted to private first class, 1 September 1966, and to lance corporal, 1 January 1967.

In July 1967, LCpl Smedley arrived in the Republic of Vietnam. He was assigned duty as a rifleman and squad radio man with Company D, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, and was promoted to corporal, 1 September 1967. While on patrol in Quang Nam Province on 21 December 1967, he was mortally wounded.

His medals and decorations include: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.


Vietnam War 1965-1973 Medal of Honor

Marine Corps University