The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

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

Lance Corporal

United States Marine Corps

Thomas Creek



Lance Corporal Thomas E. Creek
United States Marine Corps

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rifleman with Company I, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division in action against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. On 13 February 1969, Lance Corporal Creek's squad was providing security for a convoy moving to resupply the Vandegrift Command Base when an enemy command detonated mine destroyed one of the vehicles and halted the convoy near the Cam Lo Resettlement Village. Almost immediately, the Marines came under a heavy volume of hostile mortar fire followed by intense small arms fire from a well-concealed North Vietnamese Army force. When his squad rapidly deployed to engage the enemy, Lance Corporal Creek quickly moved to a fighting position and aggressively engaged in the fire fight. Observing a position from which he could more effectively deliver fire against the hostile force, he completely disregarded his own safety as he fearlessly dashed across the fire-swept terrain and was seriously wounded by enemy fire. At the same time, a North Vietnamese fragmentation grenade was thrown into the gully where he had fallen, landing between him and several companions. Fully realizing the inevitable results of his action, Lance Corporal Creek valiantly rolled on the grenade and absorbed the full force of the explosion with his own body, thereby saving the lives of five of his fellow Marines. As a result of his heroic action, his men were inspired to such aggressive action that the North Vietnamese were defeated and the convoy was able to continue its vital mission. Lance Corporal Creek's indomitable courage, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Richard M. Nixon
President of the United States

Footnote: Thomas E. Creek was born on April 7, 1950 in Joplin, Missouri, son of Ross F. Creek, Senior, of Amarillo, TX. He attended Palo Duro High School in Amarillo. Buried in Llano Cemetery, Amarillo

Thomas E. Creek, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during February 1969 in Vietnam, was born 7 April 1950, in Joplin, Missouri. He grew up in Amarillo, Texas, and attended Forest Hill Elementary School, Horace Man Jr. High School, and Palo Duro High School.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, 16 January 1968. He completed recruit training with the 1st Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, in March 1968. He received individual combat training with Company A, 1st Battalion, 2d Infantry Training Regiment, at Camp Pendleton, California, in April, and basic infantry training with Rifle Training Company, Basic Infantry Training Battalion, 2d Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Pendleton, in May 1968. He was promoted to private first class, 1 June 1968.

In July 1968, he was transferred to the Republic of Vietnam. He first saw duty as a rifleman with Company E, 2d Battalion, 27th Marines, Regimental Landing Team 27, 1st Marine Division. In September 1968, he was assigned duty as fire team leader with Company I, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division and was promoted to, lance corporal on 1 November 1968. While serving in the latter capacity, he was killed in action on 13 February 1969, near the Cam Lo resettlement village.

A complete list of medals and decorations include: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Meal, the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

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