Miguel Hernandez Keith MOH

b. 02/06/1951 San Antonio, Texas. d. 08/05/1970 Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 08/05/1970 Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam.

Miguel H Keith MOH

Miguel Keith, a Mexican-American, was born on June 2, 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 January 21, 1969. He was discharged from the Reserves on April 30, 1969, and the following day, on May 1, 1969, he enlisted in the regular Marine Corps.

Ordered to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, on May 2, 1969, for recruit training, he completed training with the 1st Recruit Training Battalion on July 17, 1969. He was transferred to the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, for individual combat training with Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment. On August 1, 1969, he was promoted to the rank of Private First Class.

Upon completion of individual combat training on September 18, 1969, he received orders to the Far East. On November 6, 1969, he arrived in the Republic of Vietnam and was assigned as a rifleman with the 1st Combined Action Group, III Marine Amphibious Force. On April 1, 1970, he was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal.

While participating in combat in Quảng Ngãi Province on May 8, 1970, he was mortally wounded in the action for which he received the Medal of Honor. When his platoon was under heavy attack from a numerically superior enemy, Keith was seriously wounded. Despite his wounds, he advanced on the enemy with machine gun fire, killing three of the enemy advancing on the command post and dispersing the others. He was severely wounded by a grenade during this charge. In spite of his wounds and loss of blood, he charged a group of 25 attackers, causing them to retreat for cover. He was mortally wounded by enemy fire. His actions contributed significantly to his platoon’s success in routing the enemy.

His posthumous Medal of Honor was presented to his family by Vice President Spiro T. Agnew at The White House on September 15, 1971.



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. During the early morning L/Cpl. Keith was seriously wounded when his platoon was subjected to a heavy ground attack by a greatly outnumbering enemy force. Despite his painful 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 soldiers approaching 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 L/Cpl. 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 25 enemy soldiers who were massing to attack. The vigor of his assault and his well-placed fire eliminated four of the enemy soldiers 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, L/Cpl. 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 U.S. Naval Service.