Retired Marine Sgt. Maj. John Canley will receive the Medal of Honor for his heroism in Vietnam during the Battle of Hue City, the White House announced Tuesday.
Then-Gunnery Sgt. Canley "fought off multiple enemy attacks as his company moved along a highway toward Hue City to relieve friendly forces who were surrounded," read a statement from the White House. "On several occasions, despite his own wounds, he rushed across fire-swept terrain to carry wounded Marines to safety."
This is an upgrade to the Navy Cross that Canley previously received for his actions, which cover a period between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6, 1968 with Alpha Co, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, when he was serving as company gunnery sergeant, and later, as company commander after his commanding officer was wounded.
"While in command of the company for three days, he led attacks against multiple enemy-fortified positions while exposing himself to enemy fire to carry wounded Marines to safety," the White House said in a statement. "On February 6, at a hospital compound, he twice scaled a wall in full view of the enemy to aid wounded Marines and carry them to safety."
In the brutal battle to retake Hue City in 1968, Canley’s “valorous actions and unwavering dedication to his fellow service members is the reason so many of the men who support his nomination are alive today to testify on his behalf. His incredible gallantry and selflessness is an inspiration to us all,” Brownley said.
In his account published last year — “Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam,” Mark Bowden, author of “Black Hawk Down” about the Battle of Mogadishu, cited Canley’s actions in the house-to-house fighting more than 30 times.
President Donald Trump will present Canley with the nation's highest award for bravery in a ceremony at the White House on Oct. 17.
NEWPORT — The explosion and sinking of the ship in 1943 claimed at least 1,138 lives, and while the sea swallowed the bones there were people, too, who also worked to shroud the bodies.
The sinking of the H.M.T. Rohna was the greatest loss of life at sea by enemy action in the history of U.S. war, but the British Admiralty demanded silence from the survivors and the tragedy was immediately classified by the U.S. War Department.
Michael Walsh of Newport is working to bring the story of the Rohna to the surface with a documentary film, which includes interviews with some of the survivors of the attack. Walsh has interviewed about 45 men who were aboard the ship when it was hit.
Editor's note: this story originally appeared in 2018
How you die matters. Ten years ago, on Memorial Day, I was in Fallujah, serving a year-long tour on the staff and conducting vehicle patrols between Abu Ghraib and Ramadi. That day I attended a memorial service in the field. It was just one of many held that year in Iraq, and one of the countless I witnessed over my 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Like many military veterans, Memorial Day is not abstract to me. It is personal; a moment when we remember our friends. A day, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “sacred to memories of love and grief and heroic youth."