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First Name: Raymond

Last Name: Clausen

Birthplace: New Orleans, LA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: New Orleans, LA
Middle Name: Michael

Date of Birth: 14 October 1947

Date of Death: 30 May 2004

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1966-1970
Raymond Michael Clausen, Jr.

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Raymond Michael 'Mike' Clausen, Jr.
Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Raymond Michael Clausen Jr. (14 October 1947 - 30 May 2004) was a Private First Class in the U.S. Marine Corps who received the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in January 1970. On a mission to rescue Marines from a minefield, under heavy enemy fire he carried out one dead and eleven wounded Marines, making six trips through the minefield until every Marine was extracted.

Clausen was born on 14 October 1947 in New Orleans, LA. He graduated from Hammond High School (Louisiana) in 1965 and attended Southeastern Louisiana University for six months before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in New Orleans on 30 March 1966. He was discharged to enlist in the regular Marine Corps on 27 May 1966.

Private Clausen received recruit training with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA, and individual combat training with the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Pendleton, CA. He then completed Aviation Mechanical Fundamentals School and the Basic Helicopter Course at Naval Air Technical Training Center in Memphis, TN.

He completed his training in April 1967 and was transferred to Marine Aircraft Group 26 (MAG-26), Marine Corps Air Facility, New River, Jacksonville, NC, where he served as a jet engine mechanic with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365 (HMM-365) and, later, as a guard with Marine Air Base Squadron 26 (MABS-26).

In December 1967, Private First Class Clausen was ordered overseas to serve as a jet helicopter mechanic, which he did throughout his tour of active duty service. He joined the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, with Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 36 (H&MS-36), Marine Aircraft Group 36 (MAG-36) until September 1968, then with HMM-364, Marine Aircraft Group 16 (MAG-16) until the following August. PFC Clausen then returned to the United States, where he joined Marine Aircraft Group 26 (MAG-26) at Marine Corps Air Station New River for duty with HMM-261.

He began his second tour of duty in November 1969 with HMM-263, MAG-16, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. On 31 January 1970, as part of a mission to rescue Marines who were stranded in a minefield near Da Nang, under heavy enemy fire he made six trips out of his helicopter through the minefield, carrying back eleven wounded Marines and one dead until the last Marine was accounted for. For his heroic actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to


for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 263, Marine Aircraft Group 16, First Marine Aircraft Wing, during operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam on 31 January 1970. Participating in a helicopter rescue mission to extract elements of a platoon which had inadvertently entered a minefield while attacking enemy positions, Private First Class Clausen skillfully guided the helicopter pilot to a landing in an area cleared by one of several mine explosions. With eleven Marines wounded, one dead, and the remaining eight Marines holding their positions for fear of detonating other mines, Private First Class Clausen quickly leaped from the helicopter and, in the face of enemy fire, moved across the extremely hazardous, mine-laden area to assist in carrying casualties to the waiting helicopter and in placing them aboard. Despite the ever-present threat of further mine explosions, he continued his valiant efforts, leaving the comparatively safe area of the helicopter on six separate occasions to carry out his rescue efforts. On one occasion while he was carrying one of the wounded, another mine detonated, killing a corpsman and wounding three other men. Only when he was certain that all Marines were safely aboard did he signal the pilot to lift the helicopter. By his courageous, determined and inspiring efforts in the face of the utmost danger, Private First Class Clausen upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.


On 19 August 1970, upon his return to the U.S., he was released from active duty at the rank of PFC.

On 15 June 1971, PFC Clausen was presented the Medal of Honor by President Richard M. Nixon in a ceremony at the White House.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Air Crewman Insignia with 3 Gold Stars
Air Medal with 3 Gold Stars
Combat Action Ribbon
Purple Heart
Presidential Unit Citation
Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 1 Silver Star and 1 Bronze Star
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm
Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device

Rifle Sharpshooter Badge


The CH-46D Sea Knight helicopter from which Clausen rescued his fellow Marines, was dedicated on 20 October 2007 at the Carolina Aviation Museum in Charlotte, NC. From January 1970, the helicopter was in active service, until March 2004, when it had a hard landing in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. It has been restored as it had been during its Vietnam War service.

Death and Burial

Private First Class Raymond Michael Clausen Jr. died at the age of 56 on 30 May 2004 at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX, due to liver failure. He was laid to rest at Ponchatoula Cemetery in Ponchatoula, LA, with full military honors.

Honoree ID: 912   Created by: MHOH




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