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First Name: Wesley

Last Name: Fox

Birthplace: Herndon, VA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Lee

Date of Birth: 30 September 1931

Rank: Colonel

Years Served: 1950 to 1993
Wesley Lee Fox

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Wesley Lee Fox
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Colonel Wesley Lee Fox is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer. Fox was awarded the nation's highest military award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the Vietnam War. In addition, as a 43-year veteran, he is uniquely distinguished by having held all but one enlisted and officer rank from private to colonel (the exception is Sergeant Major). He retired only upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 62. Fox is a legendary hero within the Corps, and his story is known to many Marines.

Wesley Lee Fox was born 30 September 1931, to John Wesley and Desola Lee (née Crouch) Fox in Herndon, Virginia, the oldest of ten siblings. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps shortly before his 19th birthday on 4 August 1950. As a Corporal, Fox was wounded in action during the Korean War on 8 September 1951, but returned for a second tour of duty in Korea as a Platoon Sergeant.

After his Korean War service, Fox returned to the U.S. and served as both a drill instructor and recruiter. He was promoted to First Sergeant in May 1966, and soon after was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant.

Assigned to Vietnam, First Lieutenant Fox's actions in Quang Tri Province during Operation Dewey Canyon on 22 February 1969 earned him the Medal of Honor. Having been wounded in action, along with almost every other member of his unit, Fox personally neutralized one enemy emplacement and directed his men to destroy others. After his executive officer was mortally wounded, Fox continued to direct the actions of his Marines, ordering air strikes and coordinating the advance until the enemy retreated. Fox was wounded again in the final assault, but refused medical attention while he reorganized his troops and prepared the wounded for evacuation.

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 as commanding officer of Company A, in action against the enemy in the northern A Shau Valley. Capt. (then 1st Lt.) Fox's company came under intense fire from a large well concealed enemy force. Capt. Fox maneuvered to a position from which he could assess the situation and confer with his platoon leaders. As they departed to execute the plan he had devised, the enemy attacked and Capt. Fox was wounded along with all of the other members of the command group, except the executive officer. Capt. Fox continued to direct the activity of his company. Advancing through heavy enemy fire, he personally neutralized 1 enemy position and calmly ordered an assault against the hostile emplacements. He then moved through the hazardous area coordinating aircraft support with the activities of his men. When his executive officer was mortally wounded, Capt. Fox reorganized the company and directed the fire of his men as they hurled grenades against the enemy and drove the hostile forces into retreat. Wounded again in the final assault, Capt. Fox refused medical attention, established a defensive posture, and supervised the preparation of casualties for medical evacuation. His indomitable courage, inspiring initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger inspired his marines to such aggressive action that they overcame all enemy resistance and destroyed a large bunker complex. Capt. Fox's heroic actions reflect great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps, and uphold the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

The medal was presented to then-Captain Fox by President Richard Nixon on 2 March 1971, in a White House ceremony.

Military Career - Later Years

Fox retired from the Marine Corps with the rank of Colonel in September 1993. He continued to wear the uniform for eight more years as a Deputy Commandant of Cadets for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. During his time at Virginia Tech, Fox spoke of his experiences to America's next generation of military officers, business executives, and civic leaders.

Fox has written a book about his experiences in the military, Marine Rifleman: Forty-Three Years in the Corps (ISBN 1-57488-425-5), and was featured on the 2003 PBS program American Valor.

As of the early 2000s, Fox lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, with his wife, Dotti (formerly Dotti Lu Bossinger). They have three daughters.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V"
Navy Commendation Medal with 1 Gold Star
Purple Heart with 3 Gold Stars (in lieu of second through fourth awards)
Combat Action Ribbon
Presidential Unit Citation (United States)
Good Conduct Medal with 4 Bronze Stars (in lieu of subsequent awards)
National Defense Service Medal with 1 Bronze Star
Korean Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars
United Nations Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 1 Silver Star and 1 Bronze Star (in lieu of subsequent awards)
Vietnamese Gallantry Cross (2)
Vietnamese Honor Medal 1st Class
Vietnamese Unit Cross of Gallantry with Palm
Korean Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnam Campaign Medal

Honoree ID: 952   Created by: MHOH




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