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 Noonan Jr.



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 G, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines,
Third Marine Division, in operations against the enemy in Quang Tri Province in the Republic of
Vietnam.  On 5 February 1969, Company G was directed to move from a position which they had
been holding southeast of the Vandergrift Combat Base in A Shau Valley to an alternate
location.  As the Marines commenced a slow and difficult descent down the side of the hill,
made extremely slippery by the heavy rains, the leading element came under a heavy fire from a
North Vietnamese Army unit occupying well-concealed positions in the rocky terrain.  Four men
were wounded, and repeated attempts to recover them failed because of the intense hostile fire.
Lance Corporal Noonan moved from his position of relative security and, maneuvering down the
treacherous slope to a location near the injured men, took cover behind some rocks.  Shouting
words of encouragement to the wounded men to restore their confidence, he dashed across the
hazardous terrain and commenced dragging the most seriously wounded man away from the
fire-swept area.  Although wounded and knocked to the ground by an enemy round, Lance Corporal
Noonan recovered rapidly and resumed dragging the man toward the marginal security of a rock.
He was however, mortally wounded before he could reach his destination.  His heroic actions
inspired his fellow Marines to such aggressiveness that they initiated a spirited assault which
forced the enemy soldiers to withdraw.  Lance Corporal Noonan's indomitable courage inspiring
initiative 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.

President of the United States

Thomas P. Noonan, Jr., who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during February 1969 in Vietnam, was born 18 November 1943, in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, New York, in June 1961. He attended Hunter College in the Bronx, New York, graduating with a B.A. Degree in Physical Education in June 1966.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in Brooklyn, New York, 26 December 1967 and was subsequently discharged to enlist in the Regular Marine Corps on 31 January 968.

Private Noonan completed recruit training with the 3d Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, in April 1968, and was promoted to private first class, 1 April 1968.

Transferred to the Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he underwent individual combat training with the 1st Battalion, 1st Infantry Training Regiment.

Ordered to the Republic of Vietnam in July 1968, he was assigned duty as mortar man with H&S Company, 2d Battalion, 27th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF. In August, he was reassigned to the 3d Marine Division where he saw combat as a rifleman, M-79 Man with Company G, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines. He was promoted to lance corporal, 1 January 1969. He was killed in action on 5 February 1969, while participating in action against the enemy south of Vandegrift Combat Base in Quang Tri Province.

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

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