Wayne Maurice Caron was born on 2 November 1946 in Middleboro, Massachusetts. He graduated there with multiple honors from Memorial High School in June 1966. On 12 July of that year, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy in Boston, Massachusetts. He advanced to hospital apprentice on 23 September 1966, to hospitalman on 1 April 1967, and to hospital corpsman third class on 16 January 1968.

Hospital Corpsman Third Class Caron underwent recruit training at the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois, and was the Honorman of his company. He attended Naval Hospital Corps School, also in Great Lakes, and then received further training at Field Marine Service School, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California. In July 1968, HM3 Caron joined 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, and served as a platoon hospital corpsman with the 2d Platoon, Company K in the Republic of Vietnam.

On 28 July 1968, HM3 Caron’s platoon was moving through an open rice paddy when the enemy, concealed in the tree line, attacked with automatic weapons. While helping wounded Marines, he was struck in the arm, leg, and the back near the spine. After each wound, he continued to administer aid and save the lives of his comrades. HM3 Caron was crawling to aid yet another casualty when an enemy rocket took his life.

Hospital Corpsman Third Class Caron was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his selfless actions, with the award being presented to his wife and infant son on 20 April 1970 by Vice President Spiro T. Agnew. His body was returned to the U.S. for burial in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, HM3 Caron received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in enemy action. The destroyer USS Caron (DD-970), named in his honor, was commissioned 1 October 1977. 

Navy Medal of Honor recipients serving with Marine units at the time of award

Marine Corps University