The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom
Honor-Courage-Commitment

MIGUEL KEITH
Lance Corporal

United States Marine Corps
Miguel Keith

 

CITATION

Lance Corporal Miguel Keith
United States Marine Corps

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to Lance Corporal Miguel Keith 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 painfull 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 apporaching 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.

Richard M. Nixon
President of the United States

Miguel Keith, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in May 1970, was born 2 June 1951, in San Antonio, Texas. He left North High School in Omaha, Nebraska, in December 1968, and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at Omaha on 21 January 1969. He was discharged, 30 April 1969, and enlisted in the regular Marine Corps on 1 May 1969.

Ordered to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, on 2 May 1969, he completed recruit training with the 1st Recruit Training Battalion, 17 July 1969, and was transferred to the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, for individual combat training with Company B, 1st Battalion, 2d Infantry Training Regiment.

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. While participating in combat, on 8 May 1970, he was mortally wounded in action in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam.

He was promoted to private first class on 1 August 1969, and to lance corporal on 1 April 1970.

His medals and decorations include: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Return to Main Page