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First Name: James

Last Name: Monroe

Birthplace: Aurora, IL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Howard

Date of Birth: 17 October 1944

Date of Death: 16 February 1967

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1966-1967
James Howard Monroe

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


James Howard Monroe
Private First Class, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Private First Class James Howard Monroe (17 October 1944 - 16 February 1967) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions as a combat medic in the Vietnam War.

James Howard Monroe was born on 17 October 1944 in Aurora, IL, and attended Wheaton Central High School in nearby Wheaton, IL. He participated in football and the biology club before graduating in 1962. He then studied political science at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA, but left before graduating and was drafted into the U.S. Army in June 1966.

Monroe was sent to Vietnam in November 1966 as a Private First Class serving as a medic in the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). On 16 February 1967, in Bong Son, Hoai Nhon Province, South Vietnam, Monroe crossed through enemy fire to treat wounded soldiers and covered the blast of a grenade with his body, sacrificing his own life to protect those around him. For his heroic action he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. His platoon was deployed in a night ambush when the position was suddenly subjected to an intense and accurate grenade attack, and 1 foxhole was hit immediately. Responding without hesitation to the calls for help from the wounded men Pfc. Monroe moved forward through heavy small-arms fire to the foxhole but found that all of the men had expired. He turned immediately and crawled back through the deadly hail of fire toward other calls for aid. He moved to the platoon sergeant's position where he found the radio operator bleeding profusely from fragmentation and bullet wounds. Ignoring the continuing enemy attack, Pfc. Monroe began treating the wounded man when he saw a live grenade fall directly in front of the position. He shouted a warning to all those nearby, pushed the wounded radio operator and the platoon sergeant to one side, and lunged forward to smother the grenade's blast with his body. Through his valorous actions, performed in a flash of inspired selflessness, Pfc. Monroe saved the lives of 2 of his comrades and prevented the probable injury of several others. His gallantry and intrepidity were in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army, and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

Monroe's family was formally presented with his Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the Pentagon on what would have been his twenty-fourth birthday, 17 October 1968.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

James Howard Monroe's name is inscribed on Panel 15E - Line 48.


• A medical clinic on Fort Hood is named in his honor.

Monroe Middle School in Wheaton, Illinois is named in his honor, and his Medal of Honor is on display at the school.

Death and Burial

Private First Class James Howard Monroe was killed in action on 16 February 1967. He is buried at Wheaton Cemetery in Wheaton, IL.

Honoree ID: 1034   Created by: MHOH




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