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First Name: Miguel

Last Name: Keith

Birthplace: San Antonio, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Omaha, NE

Date of Birth: 02 June 1951

Date of Death: 08 May 1970

Rank: Lance Corporal

Years Served: 1969 - 1970
Miguel Keith

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Miguel Keith
Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Lance Corporal Miguel Keith (2 June 1951 - 8 May 1970) was a U.S. Marine who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for heroism in Vietnam in May 1970. Despite being severely wounded, he advanced on enemy attackers, allowing his platoon to route the attack of a numerically superior enemy force.

Miguel Keith was born on 2 June 1951 in San Antonio, TX. He left North High School in Omaha, NE in December 1968, and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at Omaha on 21 January 1969. He was discharged from the Reserves on 30 April 1969, and the following day, on 1 May 1969, he enlisted in the regular Marine Corps.

Ordered to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA, on 2 May 1969 for recruit training, he completed training with the 1st Recruit Training Battalion on 17 July 1969. He was transferred to the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, CA, for individual combat training with Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment. On 1 August 1969, he was promoted to the rank of Private First Class.

Upon completion of individual combat training on 18 September 1969 he received orders to the Far East. On 6 November 1969, he arrived in the Republic of Vietnam and was assigned as a rifleman with the 1st Combined Action Group, III Marine Amphibious Force. On 1 April 1970, he was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal.

While participating in combat in Quang Ngai Province on 8 May 1970, he was involved in the action for which he received the Medal of Honor. When his platoon was under heavy attack from a numerically superior enemy, Keith was seriously wounded. Despite his wounds, he advanced on the enemy with machine gun fire, killing 3 of the enemy advancing on the command post and dispersing the others. He was severely wounded by a grenade during this charge. In spite of his wounds and loss of blood, he charged a group of 25 attackers, causing them to retreat for cover. He was mortally wounded by enemy fire but his actions contributed significantly to his platoon's success in routing the enemy.

Medal of Honor

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress 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 machine gunner with Combined Action Platoon 1-3-2, III Marine Amphibious Force, operating in Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Vietnam. During the early morning of 8 May 1970, Lance Corporal Keith was seriously wounded when his platoon was subjected to a heavy ground attack by a greatly outnumbering enemy force. Despite his painful wounds, he ran across the fire-swept terrain to check the security of vital defensive positions, and then, while completely exposed to view, proceeded to deliver a hail of devastating machine gun fire against the enemy. Determined to stop five of the enemy approaching the command post, he rushed forward, firing as he advanced. He succeeded in disposing of three of the attackers and in dispersing the remaining two. At this point, a grenade detonated near Lance Corporal Keith, knocking him to the ground and inflicting further severe wounds. Fighting pain and weakness from loss of blood, he again braved the concentrated hostile fire to charge an estimated twenty-five enemy soldiers who were massing to attack. The vigor of his assault and his well-placed fire eliminated four of the enemy while the remainder fled for cover. During this valiant effort, he was mortally wounded by an enemy soldier. By his courageous and inspiring performance in the face of almost overwhelming odds, Lance Corporal Keith contributed in large measure to the success of his platoon in routing a numerically superior enemy force, and upheld the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.


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

Miguel Keith's name is inscribed on Panel 11W, Line 132.


Henderson Hall barracks. Keith Hall, a new barracks at Henderson Hall, Headquarters Marine Corps, Arlington, VA, was dedicated on 18 March 1983, honoring LCPL Miguel Keith. A bronze plaque in the lobby recounts the heroic actions of LCPL Keith.

Death and Burial

Lance Corporal Miguel Keith was killed in action on 8 May 1970. He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Omaha, NE.

Honoree ID: 993   Created by: MHOH




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