James Howard Monroe MOH

b. 17/10/1944 Aurora, Illinois. d. 16/02/1967 Bong Son, Vietnam.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 16/02/1967 Bong Son, Vietnam.

James H Monroe MOH

Monroe was born in Aurora, Illinois, and attended Wheaton Central High School in nearby Wheaton, Illinois. He participated in football and the biology club before graduating in 1962. He then studied political science at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, but left before graduating and was drafted into the U.S. Army in June 1966.

Monroe was sent to Vietnam in November 1966 as a private first class serving as a medic in the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). On February 16, 1967, in Bồng Sơn, Hoài Nhơn District, South Vietnam, Monroe crossed through enemy fire to treat wounded soldiers and smothered the blast of a grenade with his body, sacrificing his own life to protect those around him. Monroe, age 22 at his death, was buried at Wheaton Cemetery in Wheaton, Illinois.

His family was formally presented with his Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the Pentagon by the Secretary of the Army, Stanley R. Resor, on what would have been his twenty-fourth birthday, October 17, 1968. Monroe Middle School in Wheaton is named in his honour, and his medal is on display at the school.

A medical clinic on Fort Hood is named in his honour, as is James Howard Monroe Middle School, which is located in Wheaton.



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. His platoon was deployed in a night ambush when the position was suddenly subjected to an intense and accurate grenade attack, and one foxhole was hit immediately. Responding without hesitation to the calls for help from the wounded men, Pfc. Monroe moved forward through heavy small-arms fire to the foxhole but found that all of the men had expired. He turned immediately and crawled back through the deadly hail of fire toward other calls for aid. He moved to the platoon sergeant’s position where he found the radio operator bleeding profusely from fragmentation and bullet wounds. Ignoring the continuing enemy attack, Pfc. Monroe began treating the wounded man when he saw a live grenade fall directly in front of the position. He shouted a warning to all those nearby, pushed the wounded radio operator and the platoon sergeant to one side, and lunged forward to smother the grenade’s blast with his body. Through his valorous actions, performed in a flash of inspired selflessness, Pfc. Monroe saved the lives of two of his comrades and prevented the probable injury of several others. His gallantry and intrepidity were in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army, and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.