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First Name: James

Last Name: Howe

Birthplace: Six Mile, SC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Fort Jackson, SC
Middle Name: Donnie

Date of Birth: 17 December 1948

Date of Death: 06 May 1970

Rank: Lance Corporal

Years Served: 1968-1970
James Donnie Howe

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


James Donnie Howe
Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Lance Corporal James Donnie Howe (17 December 1948 - 6 May 1970) was a U.S. Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in May 1970 during the Vietnam War.

James Donnie Howe was born on 17 December 1948, at Six Mile, SC. He attended Six Mile and Pickens Elementary Schools; graduated from Cateeche Elementary School in Cateeche, SC, in June 1960; and then attended Liberty Junior High School in Liberty, SC, from September 1960 until June 1961.

He was employed by Lloyd's Incorporated, a paint contractor, in Easley, SC, prior to enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve on 31 October 1968, in Fort Jackson, SC. He was discharged from the Reserves on 29 December 1968 and enlisted in the regular Marine Corps the following day.

Private Howe received recruit training with the Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC, and individual combat training with the 2nd Infantry Training Battalion, 1st Infantry Training Regiment, Camp Lejeune, NC.

Promoted to Private First Class on 4 June 1969, Howe was transferred later that month to the Republic of Vietnam. He served as a rifleman and later, as a radio operator, with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. On 27 December 1969, he was promoted to Lance Corporal.

In the early morning hours of 6 May 1970, while serving as a rifleman in operations against insurgent Communist aggression in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, he was mortally wounded.

Medal of Honor citation

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously 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 a Rifleman with Company I, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division in connection with combat operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. In the early morning hours of 6 May 1970, Lance Corporal Howe and two other Marines were occupying a defensive position in a sandy beach area fronted by bamboo thickets. Enemy sappers suddenly launched a grenade attack against the position, utilizing the cover of darkness to carry out their assault. Following the initial explosions of the grenades, Lance Corporal Howe and his two comrades moved to a more advantageous position in order to return suppressive fire. When an enemy grenade landed in their midst, Lance Corporal Howe immediately shouted a warning and then threw himself upon the deadly missile, thereby protecting the lives of his fellow Marines. His heroic and selfless action was in keeping with the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.


On 15 September 1971, James Howe's family was presented with his Medal of Honor by Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, at the White House.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
Combat Action Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 1 Bronze Star
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

James Donnie Howe's name is inscribed on Panel 11W - Line 113.


On 19 May 2004, the South Carolina General Assembly passed Joint Resolution 5294 commending native South Carolinian James D. Howe for his Medal of Honor actions.

Death and Burial

Lance Corporal James Donnie Howe was killed in action on 6 May 1970. He is buried at Liberty Memorial Gardens in Liberty, Pickens County, SC.

Honoree ID: 975   Created by: MHOH




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