The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom

Private First Class

United States Marine Corps

Raymond M. Clausen Jr.


Private First Class Raymond M. Clausen Jr.
United States Marine Corps

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 263, Marine Aircraft Group 16, First Marine Aircraft Wing, during operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 31 January 1970. Participating in a helicopter rescue mission to extract elements of a platoon which had enadvertently entered a minefield while attacking enemy positions, Private First Class Clausen skillfully guided the helicopter pilot to a landing in a area cleared by one of several mine explosions. With eleven Marines wounded, one dead, and the remaining eight Marines holding their positions for fear of detonating other mines, Private First Class Clausen quickly leaped from the helicopter and , in the face of enemy fire, moved across the extremely hazardous, mine-laden area to assist in carrying casualties to the waiting helicopter and in placing them aboard. Despite the ever-present threat of further mine explosions, he continued his valiant efforts, leaving the comparatively safe area of the helicopter on six separate occasions to carry out his rescue efforts. On one occasion while he was carrying one of the wounded, another mine detonated, killing a corpsman and wounding three other men. Only when he was certain that all Marines were safely aboard did he signal the pilot to lift the helicopter. By his courageous, determined and inspirintg efforts in the face of the utmost danger, Private First Class Clausen upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

Richard M. Nixon
President of the United States

Raymond Michael Clausen, Jr. was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in January 1970. He was born 14 October 1947 in New Orleans, Louisiana, graduated from high school in 1965, and attended college for six months before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in New Orleans on 30 March 1966. He was discharged to enlist in the regular Marine Corps on 27 May 1966.

Private Clausen received recruit training with the 3d Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, and individual combat training with the 3d Battalion, 2d Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Pendleton, California. He then completed Aviation Mechanical Fundamentals School and the Basic Helicopter Course at Naval Air Technical Training Center in Memphis, Tennessee.

He completed his training in April 1967 and was transferred to Marine Aircraft Group 26 (MAG-26), Marine Corps Air Facility, New River, Jacksonville, North Carolina, where he served as a jet engine mechanic with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365 (HMM-365) and, later, as a guard with Marine Air Base Squadron 26 (MABS-26).

In December 1967, Private First Class Clausen was ordered overseas to serve as a jet helicopter mechanic, which he did throughout his tour of active duty service. He joined the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, with Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 36 (H&MS-36), MAG-36 until September 1968, then with HMM-364, MAG-16 until the following August. PFC Clausen then returned to the United States, where he joined MAG-26 at New River for duty with HMM-261.

He began his second tour of duty in November 1969 with HMM-263, MAG-16, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. On 19 August 1970, upon his return to the United States, he was released from active duty at the rank of private.

Private Clausen passed away at the age of 56 on 30 May 2004 at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, due to liver failure. He was laid to rest at Ponchatoula Cemetery in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, with full military honors.

A complete list of his medals and decorations include: the Medal of Honor; the Air Crewman Insignia and the Air Medal, both with three Gold Stars; the Combat Action Ribbon; the Purple Heart; the Presidential Unit Citation; the Good Conduct Medal; the National Defense Service Medal; the Vietnam Service Medal with one silver star and one bronze star; the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm; the Vietnam Campaign Medal with device; and the Rifle Sharpshooter Badge.