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First Name: Alfred

Last Name: Wilson

Birthplace: Olney, IL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Abilene, TX
Middle Name: Mac

Date of Birth: 13 January 1948

Date of Death: 03 March 1969

Rank: Corporal

Years Served: 1967-1969
Alfred Mac Wilson

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Alfred Mac Wilson
Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Corporal Alfred Mac Wilson (13 January 1948 - 3 March 1969) was a U.S. Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Vietnam War.

Alfred Mac Wilson was born 13 January 1948 in Olney, IL. He moved with his family to Odessa, TX 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.

Wilson enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at Abilene, TX on 1 November 1967, and was discharged to enlist in the Regular Marine Corps on 14 January 1968. He underwent recruit training with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA. Upon completion of recruit training, in April 1968, he was transferred to Camp Pendleton, CA, and completed individual combat training with Company D, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment, in May, and basic infantry training in June. He was promoted to Private First Class on 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. He was later reassigned as a rifleman with Company M, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division.

Wilson was killed in action in the vicinity of Fire Support Base Cunningham, Quang Tri Province on 3 March 1969. While returning from a reconnaissance mission, Wilson's platoon was ambushed. While facing fire to retrieve the machine gun from the platoon's wounded machine gunner, an enemy hand grenade was thrown between Wilson and a fellow Marine. Wilson threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the full force of the blast, sacrificing his life. For this action, Wilson was posthumously promoted to the rank of Corporal; and was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company M, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division.

Place and date: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 3 March 1969.

Entered service at: Abilene, TX. Born: 13 January 1948, Olney, IL.

Citation: 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 in action against hostile forces. While returning from a reconnaissance-in-force mission in the vicinity of Fire Support Base Cunningham, the 1st Platoon of Company M came under intense automatic weapons fire and a grenade attack from a well concealed enemy force. As the center of the column was pinned down, the leading squad moved to outflank the enemy. Pfc. Wilson, acting as squad leader of the rear squad, skillfully maneuvered his men to form a base of fire and act as a blocking force. In the ensuing fire fight, both his machine gunner and assistant machine gunner were seriously wounded and unable to operate their weapons. Realizing the urgent need to bring the weapon into operation again, Pfc. Wilson, followed by another marine and with complete disregard for his safety, fearlessly dashed across the fire-swept terrain to recover the weapon. As they reached the machinegun, an enemy soldier stepped from behind a tree and threw a grenade toward the 2 marines. Observing the grenade fall between himself and the other marine, Pfc. Wilson, fully realizing the inevitable result of his actions, shouted to his companion and unhesitating 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. Pfc. Wilson's indomitable courage, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

On 20 April 1970, Corporal Wilson's Medal of Honor was presented to his family by Vice President Spiro T. Agnew in a ceremony at the White House.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The name Alfred M. Wilson is inscribed on Panel 30W, Line 035.

Death and Burial

Corporal Alfred Mac Wilson was killed in action on 3 March 1969. He is buried at Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Odessa, TX, in the Prayer Section, Lot 54, Grave 4.

Honoree ID: 1115   Created by: MHOH




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