The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

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

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
Alfred Wilson


Private First Class Alfred M. Wilson
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 M, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division in action against hostile forces in the Republic of Vietnam. On 3 March 1969, while returning from a reconnaissance in force mission in the vicinity of Fire Support Base Cunningham in Quang Tri Province, the First Platoon of Company M came under intense automatic weapons fire and grenade attack from a well-concealed North Vietnamese Army force pinning down the center of the column. Rapidly assessing the situation, Private First Class Wilson, acting as a Squad Leader, skillfully maneuvered his squad to form a base of fire and act as a blocking force while the point squad moved to outflank the enemy. During the ensuing fire fight, both his machine gunner and assistant machine gunner were seriously wounded and unable to operate  their weapon.  Realizing the importance of recovering the M-60 machine gun and maintaining a heavy volume of fire against the hostile force, Private First Class Wilson, with complete disregard for his own safety, followed by another Marine, fearlessly dashed across the fire-swept terrain to recover the weapon. As they reached the machine gun, a North Vietnamese soldier threw a grenade at the Marine. Reacting instantly, Private First Class Wilson fired a burst from his M-16 rifle killing the enemy soldier. Observing the grenade fall between himself and the other Marine, Private First Class Wilson, fully realizing the inevitable result of his actions, shouted to his companion and unhesitatingly threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the full force of the explosion with his own body. His heroic actions inspired his platoon members to maximum effort as they aggressively attacked and defeated the enemy. Private First Class Wilson'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: Private First Class Alfred Mac Wilson was born January 13, 1948 in Olney, Ill., to Mr. and Mrs. Fred V. Wilson. He moved to Odessa, Texas and graduated in 1967 from Odessa High School where he was active in football, track and distributive education. He joined the Marine Corps in Ablene, Texas  and served as a Rifleman in The First Platoon, Company M, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division. Alfred Mac is buried at the Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Odessa, Texas.

Alfred M. Wilson, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in March 1969, was born 13 January 1948, in Olney, Illinois. He moved with his family to Odessa, Texas, in 1950, and attended Burleson Elementary School, Crockett Junior High School, and graduated from Odessa Senior High School in 1967. He was active in football and track as well as the Distributive Education Club while in high school. His hobbies included shooting, hunting, fishing, football, and tennis.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at Abilene, Texas, 1 November 1967, and was discharged to enlist in the Regular Marine Corps, 14 January 1968.

He underwent recruit training with the 3d Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California. Upon completion of recruit training, in April 1968, he was transferred to Camp Pendleton, California, and completed individual combat training with Company D, 1st Battalion, 2d Infantry Training Regiment, in May, and basic infantry training in June. He was promoted to private first class, 1 July 1968.

Private First Class Wilson arrived in the Republic of Vietnam, in July 1968, and was assigned duty as a rifleman with Company D, 1st Battalion, 27th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He served in this capacity until September 1968. Reassigned as a rifleman with Company M, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division, he was killed in action in the vicinity of Fire Support Base, Cunningham, Quang Tri Province, on 3 March 1969.

A complete list of his medals and decorations include: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

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