Medal of Honor





Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company D, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division (Rein), FMF


Place and date: Cam Lo district, Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 2 February 1968


Entered service at: Los Angeles, California


Born: 9 January 1948, Glendale, California




For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a fire team leader with Company D. The Cam Lo district headquarters came under extremely heavy rocket, artillery, mortar, and recoilless rifle fire from a numerically superior enemy force, destroying a portion of the defensive perimeter. Cpl. Maxam, observing the enemy massing for an assault into the compound across the remaining defensive wire, instructed his assistant fire team leader to take charge of the fire team, and unhesitatingly proceeded to the weakened section of the perimeter. Completely exposed to the concentrated enemy fire, he sustained multiple fragmentation wounds from exploding grenades as he ran to an abandoned machine gun position. Reaching the emplacement, he grasped the machine gun and commenced to deliver effective fire on the advancing enemy. As the enemy directed maximum firepower against the determined marine, Cpl. Maxam's position received a direct hit from a rocket propelled grenade, knocking him backwards and inflicting severe fragmentation. wounds to his face and right eye. Although momentarily stunned and in intense pain, Cpl. Maxam courageously resumed his firing position and subsequently was struck again by small-arms fire. With resolute determination, he gallantly continued to deliver intense machine gun fire, causing the enemy to retreat through the defensive wire to positions of cover. In a desperate attempt to silence his weapon, the North Vietnamese threw hand grenades and directed recoilless rifle fire against him inflicting 2 additional wounds. Too weak to reload his machine gun, Cpl. Maxam fell to a prone position and valiantly continued to deliver effective fire with his rifle. After 1 1/2 hours, during which he was hit repeatedly by fragments from exploding grenades and concentrated small-arms fire, he succumbed to his wounds, having successfully defended nearly half of the perimeter singlehandedly. Cpl. Maxam's aggressive fighting spirit, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


On 21 June 1997, Donald L. Jakovac wrote:

"I wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for Maxam's defense at Cam Lo that

night. I never thought I'd see the sun rise. I never got a chance to thank

Max so I'm thanking him now".

Donald L. Jakovac, USMC ret.

--- General / Personal ---


Last name: MAXAM


Home of Record (official): GLENDALE

State (official): CA

Date of Birth: Friday, January 9, 1948

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single


--- Military ---


Branch: Marine Corps

Rank: CPL

Serial Number: 2141892

Component: Regular

Pay grade: E4

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 0311


--- Action ---


Start of Tour: Thursday, July 20, 1967

Date of Casualty: Friday, February 2, 1968

Age at time of loss: 20

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Gun, small arms fire (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Quang Tri

The Wall: Panel 36E - Row 078

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