The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

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

Second Lieutenant

United States Marine Corps

Terrence Graves


Second Lieutenant Terrence C. Graves
United States Marine Corps

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a Platoon Commander with the Third Force Reconnaissance Company, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, Third Marine Division, in the Republic of Vietnam on 16 February 1968. While on a large-range reconnaissance mission, Lieutenant Grave's eight-man patrol observed seven enemy soldiers approaching their position. Reacting instantly, he deployed his men and directed their fire on the approaching enemy. After the fire had ceased, he and two patrol members commenced a search of the area, and suddenly came under a heavy volume of hostile small arms and automatic weapons fire from a numerically superior enemy force. When one of his men was hit by enemy fire, Lieutenant Graves moved through the fire-swept area to his radio and, while directing suppressive fire from his men, requested air support and adjusted a heavy volume of artillery and helicopter gunship fire upon the enemy. After attending the wounded, Lieutenant Graves, accompanied by another Marine, moved from his relatively safe position to confirm the results of the earlier engagement. Observing that several of the enemy were still alive, he launched a determined assault, eliminating the remaining enemy troops. He then began moving the patrol to a landing zone for extraction, when the unit again came under intense fire which wounded two more Marines and Lieutenant Graves. Refusing medical attention, he once more adjusted air strikes and artillery fire upon the enemy while directing the fire of his men. He led his men to a new landing site into which he skillfully guided the in-coming aircraft and boarded his men while remaining exposed to the hostile fire. Realizing that one of the wounded had not embarked, he directed the aircraft to depart and, along with another Marine, moved to the side of the causality. Confronted with a shortage of ammunition, Lieutenant Graves utilized supporting arms and directed fire until a second helicopter arrived. At this point, the volume of enemy fire intensified, hitting the helicopter and causing it to crash shortly after liftoff. All aboard were killed. Lieutenant Graves' outstanding courage, superb leadership and indomitable fighting spirit throughout the day were in keeping with 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:  Terrence Collinson Graves was born on July 6, 1945 in Corpus Christi, TX. He grew up in New York and graduated from Edmeston Central High School in Edmeston. As a young man he was a Boy Scout Senior Patrol Leader and president of his Methodist Youth Fellowship. He was also Battalion Commander of his NROTC unit at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, where he graduated in 1967 as was commissioned a Marine Corps Second Lieutenant. He completed the Basic School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, VA in November 1967 . He was shipped to Vietnam in  December 1967 as was assigned Platoon Commander, 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, Third Marine Division (Reinforced), FMF. His medals include the Purple Heart, The National Defense Service Medal, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Silver Star and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Lieutenant Graves is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Hamilton, New York.

Second Lieutenant Terrence Collinson Graves, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in February 1968, was born 6 July 1945, in Corpus Christi, Texas, and grew up in New York, New York. He graduated from Edmeston Central High School, Edmeston, New York, in 1963, and from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, with a B.A. degree, 19 April 1967.

During his school years, he was a senior patrol leader of the Boy Scouts of America and President of the Methodist Youth Fellowship. A battalion commander of his NROTC unit while attending Miami University, he was commissioned a Marine Corps second lieutenant upon graduation.

Second Lieutenant Graves completed The Basic School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, in November 1967.

In December 1967, he arrived in the Republic of Vietnam, where he was assigned duty as a platoon commander, 3d Force Reconnaissance Company, 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, 3d Marine Division. While on patrol at Quang Tri Province on 16 February 1968, he was killed in action when the helicopter he had boarded crashed after being hit by enemy fire.

His medals and decorations include: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Silver Star, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

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