The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients
Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom
Larry L. Maxam
United States Marine Corps
Larry L. Maxam
Corporal Larry L. Maxam
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 Fire Team Leader with Company D, First Battalion, Fourth Marines, Third Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam. On 2 February 1968, the Cam Lo District Headquarters came under extremely heavy rocket, artillery, mortar, and recoilless rifle fire from a numerically superior enemy force, destroying a portion of the defensive perimenter. Corporal Maxam, observed the enemy massing for an assault into the compound across the remaining defensive wire, instructed his Assistant Fire Team Leader to take charge of the fire team, and unhesitatingly proceeded to the weakened section of the perimenter. Completely exposed to the concentrated enemy fire, he sustained multiple fragmantation wounds from exploding grenades as he ran to an abandoned machine gun and commenced to deliver effective fire on the advancing enemy. As the enemy directed maximum fire power against the determined Marine, Corporal Maxam's position received a direct hit from a rocket propelled grenade, knocking him backwards and inflicting severe fragmentation wounds to his face and right eye. Although momentarily stunned and in intense pain, Corporal Maxam courageously resumed his firing position and subsquently was struck again by small arms fire. With resolute determination, he gallantly continued to deliver intense machine gun fire, causing the enemy to retreat through the defensive wire to positions of cover. In a desperate attempt to silence his weapon, the North Vietnamese threw hand grenades and directed recoilless rifle fire against him inflicting two additional wounds. Too weak to reload his machine gun, Corporal Maxam fell to a prone position and valiantly continued to deliver effective fire with his rifle. After one and a half hours, during which he was hit repeatedly by fragments from exploding grenades and concentrated small arms fire, he succumbed to his wounds, having successfully defended nearly one half of the perimeter single-handedly. Corporal Maxam's aggressive fighting spirit, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Richard M. Nixon
President of the United States
Larry Leonard Maxam, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in February 1968, was born 9 January 1948, in Glendale, California. He attended Emerson Primary School, and Burbank Junior and High Schools, in Burbank, California, leaving the latter in 1964.
He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, in Los Angeles, on 8 March 1965. Completing recruit training with the 3d Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, in June 1965, he served briefly with the Casual Section, Headquarters Company, 2d Infantry Training Regiment, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California. He then completed individual combat training with Company A, 2d Infantry Training Regiment, at Camp Pendleton, in July 1965.
From August 1965 until February 1966, he served with the Marine Aviation Detachment, Naval Air Technical Training Center, Jacksonville, Florida.
Transferred to the 2d Battalion, 8th Marines, 2d Marine Division, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he served as a rifleman with Company H. In November 1966, he joined the rolls of Company E, 2d Battalion, but served on temporary additional duty as a fireman with Headquarters and Service Company, Officer Candidates’ School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, and as a rifleman attached to Camp Garcia, Force Troops, Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. He was promoted to private first class, 1 April 1966, and to lance corporal, 1 January 1967.
Lance Corporal Maxam next served as a rifleman with Company F, Battalion Landing Team 2/8, in the Caribbean, until May 1967.
In July 1967, he arrived in the Republic of Vietnam, and served as a rifleman, radioman, and squad leader with Company D, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division. He was promoted to corporal, 1 October 1967. While participating in Operation Kentucky on 2 February 1968, he was killed in action at Cam Lo District Headquarters, Quang Tri Province.
A complete list of his medals and decorations include: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars, the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, the Military Merit Medal (Vietnamese), and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Footnote: Larry L. Maxam was born January 9, 1948 in Glendale, California. He attended public schools in Burbank, California until the latter part of 1964. Corporal Maxam enlisted in the United States Marine Corps March 6, 1965 in Los Angeles, California, and completed boot camp June 1965 at MCRD San Diego, California. His combat training was finished July 1965 at Camp Pendleton, California. The Marine Aviation Detachment, Naval Air Technical Training Center in Jacksonville, Florida provided additional education from August 1965 to February 1966. While still in the United States Larry was attached to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, FMF in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina as a rifleman and received a promotion to Private First Class 2 April 1966. He then joined Company E, 2nd Battalion November 1966, but served TAD as a fireman with Headqurters and Service Company, CCS in Quantico, Virginia. Larry was promoted to Lance Corporal 1 January 1967. Maxam was in Puerto Rico at Camp Garcia, Force Troops, FMF, Atlantic, Vieques Island and in the Caribbean with Company F, Battalion Landing Team 2/6 until May 1967 serving as a rifleman. Larry Maxam arrived in the Republic of Vietnam July 1967 serving as a rifleman, radioman and squad leader attached to Company D, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division (Rein.) FMF being promoted to Corporal 1 October 1967. Corporal Larry L. Maxam gallantly gave his life for our country four months and one day from his last promotion, while partiipating in operation "Kentucky" 2 February 1968 at Cam Lo District Headquarters, Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam. As of April 1976 Larry Leonard Maxam is survived by his mother Mrs. Alice Maxam, sister Mrs. Linda Maxam Cooper and brother Mr. Robin Lee Maxam all residing in Australia. Corporal Maxam lies at rest at the National Memorial Cemetery in Honolulu, Hawaii.