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First Name: Marvin

Last Name: Shields

Birthplace: Port Townsend, WA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)

Rating: Construction Mechanic Petty Officer 3rd Class

Home of Record: Seattle, WA
Middle Name: Glenn

Date of Birth: 30 December 1939

Date of Death: 10 June 1965

Rank or Rate: Petty Officer Third Class

Years Served: 1962-1965
Marvin Glenn Shields

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Marvin Glenn Shields
Construction Mechanic Third Class, U.S. Navy
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Construction Mechanic Third Class Marvin Glenn Shields (30 December 1939 - 10 June 1965) was the first, and remains the only, Seabee to receive the Medal of Honor. He was also the first U.S. Navy sailor to receive the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.

Marvin Glenn Shields was born on 30 December 1939, in Port Townsend, WA. Shields graduated from high school in 1958 and had moved to Hyder, Alaska, where he worked in the goldmines.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on 8 January 1962 at Seattle, WA. After construction training, he served with Mobile Construction Battalion 11, and was with Seabee Team 1104 at Dong Xoai, South Vietnam on 10 June 1965, when a Vietcong regiment attacked. His heroic actions in the ensuing firefight caused him to be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Construction Mechanic Third Class, U.S. Navy, Seabee Team 1104.

Place and date: Dong Xoai, Republic of Vietnam, 10 June 1965.

Entered service at: Seattle, WA. Born: 30 December 1939, Port Townsend, WA.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Although wounded when the compound of Detachment A342, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, came under intense fire from an estimated reinforced Viet Cong regiment employing machineguns, heavy weapons and small arms, Shields continued to resupply his fellow Americans who needed ammunition and to return the enemy fire for a period of approximately 3 hours, at which time the Viet Cong launched a massive attack at close range with flame-throwers, hand grenades and small-arms fire. Wounded a second time during this attack, Shields nevertheless assisted in carrying a more critically wounded man to safety, and then resumed firing at the enemy for 4 more hours. When the commander asked for a volunteer to accompany him in an attempt to knock out an enemy machinegun emplacement which was endangering the lives of all personnel in the compound because of the accuracy of its fire, Shields unhesitatingly volunteered for this extremely hazardous mission. Proceeding toward their objective with a 3.5-inch rocket launcher, they succeeded in destroying the enemy machinegun emplacement, thus undoubtedly saving the lives of many of their fellow servicemen in the compound. Shields was mortally wounded by hostile fire while returning to his defensive position. His heroic initiative and great personal valor in the face of intense enemy fire sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Shield's Medal of Honor was presented to his family on 13 September 1966.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Marvin Glenn Shields' name is inscribed on Panel 02E, Row 007.

Death and Burial

Construction Mechanic Third Class Marvin Glenn Shields was killed in action on 10 June 1965. He is buried at Gardiner Cemetery in Gardiner, WA.

Honoree ID: 1079   Created by: MHOH




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