Medal of Honor

 

 

NEWLIN, MELVIN EARL *

 

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF

 

Place and date: Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, 4 July 1967

 

Entered service at: Cleveland, Ohio

 

Born: 27 September 1948, Wellsville, Ohio

 

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 attached to the 1st Platoon, Company F, 2d Battalion, on 3 and 4 July 1967. Pfc. Newlin, with 4 other marines, was manning a key position on the perimeter of the Nong Son outpost when the enemy launched a savage and well coordinated mortar and infantry assault, seriously wounding him and killing his 4 comrades. Propping himself against his machine gun, he poured a deadly accurate stream of fire into the charging ranks of the Viet Cong. Though repeatedly hit by small-arms fire, he twice repelled enemy attempts to overrun his position. During the third attempt, a grenade explosion wounded him again and knocked him to the ground unconscious. The Viet Cong guerrillas, believing him dead, bypassed him and continued their assault on the main force. Meanwhile, Pfc. Newlin regained consciousness, crawled back to his weapon, and brought it to bear on the rear of the enemy causing havoc and confusion among them. Spotting the enemy attempting to bring a captured 106 recoilless weapon to bear on other marine positions, he shifted his fire, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy and preventing them from firing the captured weapon. He then shifted his fire back to the primary enemy force, causing the enemy to stop their assault on the marine bunkers and to once again attack his machine gun position. Valiantly fighting off 2 more enemy assaults, he firmly held his ground until mortally wounded. Pfc. Newlin had singlehandedly broken up and disorganized the entire enemy assault force, causing them to lose momentum and delaying them long enough for his fellow marines to organize a defense and beat off their secondary attack. His indomitable courage, fortitude, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of almost certain death reflect great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

 


Thanks to Richard P. Deiters Jr., MSGT USMC (Retired), for providing the below photos. He took the pictures in the Wellsville, Ohio cemetery during the summer of 2007.


--- General / Personal ---

 

Last name: NEWLIN

First name: MELVIN EARL

Home of Record (official): WELLSVILLE

State (official): OH

Date of Birth: Monday, September 27, 1948

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single

 

--- Military ---

 

Branch: Marine Corps

Rank: PFC

Serial Number: 2229466

Component: Regular

Pay grade: E2

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 0341

 

--- Action ---

 

Start of Tour: Unknown/Not reported

Date of Casualty: Tuesday, July 4, 1967

Age at time of loss: 18

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Gun, small arms fire (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Quang Nam

The Wall: Panel 23E - Row 005

 


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