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First Name: Kenneth

Last Name: Worley

Birthplace: Farmington, NM, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Fresno, CA
Middle Name: Lee

Date of Birth: 27 April 1948

Date of Death: 12 August 1968

Rank: Lance Corporal

Years Served: 1967-1968
Kenneth Lee Worley

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Kenneth Lee Worley
Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Lance Corporal Kenneth Lee Worley (27 April 1948 - 12 August 1968) was a U.S. Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Vietnam War.

Kenneth Lee Worley was born on 27 April 1948 in Farmington, NM, and completed the 8th grade at Farmington Elementary School in 1962. After being orphaned, he moved to Truth or Consequences, NM, and attended Hot Spring High School there for two years. He moved to Modesto, CA, at age sixteen to live with an aunt. The conditions there were poor for Worley; he lived in a travel trailer with no running water or electricity. Instead of going to school, he worked as a truck driver, hauling loads of Christmas trees out of the mountains. After injuring his foot at work, he was taken in by Don and Rose Feyerherm of Modesto. They treated him like a son and became his foster parents.

Worley enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in Fresno, CA on 14 June 1967. He received recruit training with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA. Upon completion of recruit training in August 1967, Pvt Worley was transferred to the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, CA, and underwent individual combat training with Company R, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment, and basic infantry training with the 2nd Infantry Training Regiment, completing the latter in October.

He was promoted to Private First Class on 1 November 1967 and, later that month, was ordered to the Republic of Vietnam. Assigned to the 3rd 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 on 1 May 1968. While serving as a machine gunner with Company L on 12 August 1968, Worley sacrificed his own life when he threw himself on a grenade to save the lives of fellow Marines. For his heroic action, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF.

Place and date: Bo Ban, Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, 12 August 1968.

Entered service at: Fresno, CA. Born: 27 April 1948, Farmington, NM.

Citation: 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, 3d Battalion, in action against enemy forces. 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 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, L/Cpl. Worley, in a valiant act of heroism, instantly threw himself upon the grenade nearest him and his comrades, absorbing with his 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 5 of his fellow marines incurred minor wounds as the other grenades exploded. L/Cpl. Worley's gallant actions upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Bronze Stars
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The name Kenneth Lee Worley is inscribed on Panel 48W - Line 1.

Death and Burial

Lance Corporal Kenneth Lee Worley was killed in action on 12 August 1968. He is buried at Westminster Memorial Park in Westminster, CA.

Honoree ID: 1117   Created by: MHOH




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