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

Kenneth Worley


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Machine Gunner with Company L, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division in action against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. After establishing a night ambush position in a house in the Bo Ban Hamlet of Quang Nam Province, security was set up and the remainder of the patrol members retired until their respective watch. During the early morning hours of 12 August 1968, the Marines were abruptly awakened by the platoon leader's warning that "Grenades" had landed in the house. Fully realizing the inevitable result of his actions, Lance Corporal Worley, in a valiant act of heroism instantly threw himself upon the grenade nearest him and his comrades, absorbing with his own body, the full and tremendous force of the explosion. Through his extraordinary initiative and inspiring valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved his comrades from serious injury and possible loss of life although five of his fellow Marines incurred minor wounds as the other grenades exploded. Lance Corporal Worley's gallant actions 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

Kenneth L. Worley, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in August 1968, was born 27 April 1948, in Farmington, New Mexico, and completed Farmington Elementary School in 1962. He attended Hot Spring High School in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, for two years.Enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in Fresno, California, 14 June 1967, he received recruit training with the 3d Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California.Upon completion of recruit training in August 1967, he was transferred to the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, and underwent individual combat training with Company R, 2d Battalion, 2d Infantry Training Regiment, and basic infantry training with the 2d Infantry Training Regiment, completing the latter in October.He was promoted to private first class, 1 November 1967 and, later that month, was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam. Assigned to the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, he served consecutively as a rifleman with Company I, with Headquarters and Service Company, and with Company L. He was promoted to lance corporal, 1 May 1968. While serving as a machine gunner with Company L on 12 August 1968, he was killed in action.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 with four bronze stars, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

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