The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

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

Jason L Dunham





WASHINGTON (Jan. 12, 2007) -- The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to
for service as set forth in the following
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, Third
Battalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First Marine
Division (Reinforced), on 14 April 2004. Corporal Dunham's squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt approximately two kilometers to the west.
Corporal Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander's convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah. As Corporal Dunham and his Marines advanced, they quickly began to receive enemy fire. Corporal Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led one of his fire teams on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Corporal Dunham. Corporal Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. Corporal Dunham immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat. Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Dunham gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Jason Lee Dunham, the first Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient for Operation Iraqi Freedom, was born 10 November 1981 in Scio, New York. He graduated from Scio Central School in early 2000 and left for Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in July of that year.

Following his first duty assignment with Marine Corps Security Forces, Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, Georgia, Cpl Dunham transferred to the infantry. He was eventually assigned to Company K, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, based in Twentynine Palms, California, and deployed with that unit to Iraq in early 2004.

On 14 April 2004, Cpl Dunham was participating in a reconnaissance mission as a Rifle Squad Leader for 4th Platoon, Company K, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard gun-fire erupt a short distance away following the ambush of a Marine convoy. Cpl Dunham quickly ordered his squad toward the fighting. He and his team soon were receiving enemy fire and dismounted their vehicles to proceed on foot. Cpl Dunham and his team discovered seven Iraqi vehicles attempting to depart the area and began stopping the vehicles to search them for weapons. As the Marines approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Cpl Dunham. Cpl Dunham wrestled the man to the ground but noticed that the insurgent had released a grenade during the struggle. Cpl Dunham shouted a warning to his fellow Marines before covering the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the fatal explosion himself and saving the lives of at least two other Marines.

Corporal Dunham died of his wounds eight days later at the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, at the age of 22. He was laid to rest in his hometown of Scio at Fairlawn Cemetery.

The Medal of Honor was presented to Cpl Dunham's parents at a private White House ceremony by President George W. Bush on 11 January 2007 followed by another public ceremony at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia, the next day. On 19 March 2007, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen James T. Conway, concurred with the naming of a barrack's building in honor of Cpl Dunham on Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, and a few days later on 23 March, the Navy announced it's newest destroyer would also bear his name as the USS Jason Dunham.

A complete list of Cpl Dunham's awards and decorations includes: Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.


Return to Main Page