Raymond Michael “Red” Clausen MOH

b. 14/10/1947 New Orleans, Louisiana. d. 30/05/2004 Dallas, Texas.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 31/01/1970 Da Nang, Vietnam.

Raymond M Clausen MOH

Clausen was born on October 14, 1947 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He graduated from Hammond High School (Louisiana) in 1965 and attended Southeastern Louisiana University for six months before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in New Orleans on March 30, 1966. He was discharged to enlist in the regular Marine Corps on May 27, 1966.

Private Clausen received recruit training with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, and individual combat training with the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Pendleton, California. He then completed Aviation Mechanical Fundamentals School and the Basic Helicopter Course at Naval Air Technical Training Center in Memphis, Tennessee.

He completed his training in April 1967 and was transferred to Marine Aircraft Group 26 (MAG-26), Marine Corps Air Facility, New River, Jacksonville, North Carolina, where he served as a jet engine mechanic with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365 (HMM-365) and, later, as a guard with Marine Air Base Squadron 26 (MABS-26).

In December 1967, Private First Class Clausen was ordered overseas to serve as a jet helicopter mechanic, which he did throughout his tour of active duty service. He joined the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, with Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 36 (H&MS-36), Marine Aircraft Group 36 (MAG-36) until September 1968, then with HMM-364, Marine Aircraft Group 16 (MAG-16) until the following August. PFC Clausen then returned to the United States, where he joined Marine Aircraft Group 26 (MAG-26) at Marine Corps Air Station New River for duty with HMM-261.

He began his second tour of duty in November 1969 with HMM-263, MAG-16, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. On Jan. 31, 1970, serving with Medium Helicopter Squadron 263, He was on a mission to extract members of another platoon near Da Nang caught in a minefield while attacking the enemy. Under heavy fire and fear of tripping a mine had them frozen in their places. Clausen, the crew chief of his CH-46 helicopter, identified a safe landing spot in an area that had been cleared by a mine explosion. Although told by the aircraft commander not to leave the chopper, Clausen ignored him, a total of six times, as he repeatedly left the safety of the helicopter to help retrieve one dead and 11 wounded Marines. He then sought to guide the eight remaining Marines to the copter; while carrying a wounded man, a mine exploded, killing a nearby corpsman and wounding three Marines. His citation noted that “Only when he was certain that all Marines were safely aboard did he signal the pilot to lift the helicopter.” Other decorations include the Purple Heart and the Air Medal. On August 19, 1970, upon his return to the United States, he was released from active duty at the rank of PFC. On June 15, 1971, he was presented the Medal of Honor by President Richard M. Nixon in a ceremony at the White House.

After his military Service he was an inspector for the Boeing Co. A public speaker to veterans groups, he suffered from poor health. Sadly, he died aged 56, on 30 May 2004 from liver failure.



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 263, Marine Aircraft Group 16, First Marine Aircraft Wing, during operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam on January 31, 1970. Participating in a helicopter rescue mission to extract elements of a platoon which had inadvertently entered a minefield while attacking enemy positions, Private First Class Clausen skillfully guided the helicopter pilot to a landing in an area cleared by one of several mine explosions. With eleven Marines wounded, one dead, and the remaining eight Marines holding their positions for fear of detonating other mines, Private First Class Clausen quickly leaped from the helicopter and, in the face of enemy fire, moved across the extremely hazardous, mine-laden area to assist in carrying casualties to the waiting helicopter and in placing them aboard. Despite the ever-present threat of further mine explosions, he continued his valiant efforts, leaving the comparatively safe area of the helicopter on six separate occasions to carry out his rescue efforts. On one occasion while he was carrying one of the wounded, another mine detonated, killing a corpsman and wounding three other men. Only when he was certain that all Marines were safely aboard did he signal the pilot to lift the helicopter.