Marine veteran to receive Medal of Honor 50 years after his actions in Vietnam

Kaylah Jackson
September 25, 2018 - 4:50 pm

(Photo courtesy of Congresswoman Julia Brownley's office)


Retired Marine Sergeant Major John L. Canley will receive the Medal of Honor next month for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War’s Tet Offensive, the White House announced Tuesday.

As the Company Gunnery Sergeant for Company A, First Battalion, First Marines in the Republic of Vietnam, Canley traveled into the oncoming fire to carry wounded Marines to safety as his company moved along a highway toward Hue City in an effort to relieve friendly forces.

He took command of the company for three days when his commanding officer became severely wounded, leading his team of Marines against various enemy positions. He often moved in the line of fire to carry wounded Marines to safe zones while in command.

All of these actions took place from January 31, 1968, to February 6, 1698, when he crawled up a wall at a hospital compound to gain visibility of enemy forces, aiding wounded Marines and saving many of teammates.  

Canley retired from the Marine Corps in 1981 and currently lives in Oxnard, California.

(Photo courtesy of Congresswoman Julia Brownley's office)

Congresswoman Julia Brownley, whose heads California’s 26th District where Canley resides, says “Sergeant Major Canley is a shining example of why our Armed Forces are the best military in the world, and his heroism and bravery showcases what being an American hero truly means.”

President Trump will award Sergeant Major Canley with the Medal of Honor on October 17.

Canley’s personal awards include a Bronze Star with a combat, “V,” Purple Heart Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat, “V,” and the Combat Action Ribbon.

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