Terrence Collinson Graves MOH

b. 06/07/1945 Corpus Christi, Texas. d. 17/02/1968 Quang Tri Province, Vietnam.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 17/02/1968 Quang Tri Province, Vietnam.

Terrence C Graves MOH

Terrence Collinson Graves was born on 6 July 1945, in Corpus Christi, Texas, and grew up in Groton, New York. He graduated from Edmeston Central High School, Edmeston, New York, in 1963, and from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, with a B.A. degree in history on 19 April 1967. On graduation, he was commissioned as a Marine Corps Second Lieutenant and completed Basic School at the Marine Corps Schools, in Quantico, Virginia.

In December 1967, he arrived in Vietnam. He was assigned as a Platoon Commander of “Team Box Score”, 3rd Reconnaissance Company, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. While on patrol 6 miles (9.7 km) northwest of Đông Hà in Quang Tri Province on 16 February 1968, his unit was engaged by People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) soldiers. Wounded in the firefight, Lt. Graves called in air strikes and direct artillery fire while he guided his troops to a helicopter evacuation zone. After successfully guiding the majority of his men to the landing zone, he stayed behind to tend to one wounded soldier, calling for an additional air evacuation to remove the wounded soldier from the area. Short on ammunition and continuing to direct artillery fire, he was killed in action when the second helicopter he had boarded crashed after being hit by PAVN fire.

His posthumous Medal of Honor was presented to his family by Vice President Spiro T. Agnew at The White House on December 2, 1969. His body was returned to the US after his death and he was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery, Hamilton, New York.



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a platoon commander with the 3d Force Reconnaissance Company. While on a long-range reconnaissance mission, 2d Lt. Graves’ eight-man patrol observed seven enemy soldiers approaching their position. Reacting instantly, he deployed his men and directed their fire on the approaching enemy. After the fire had ceased, he and two patrol members commenced a search on the area, and suddenly came under a heavy volume of hostile small-arms and automatic-weapons fire from a numerically superior enemy force. When one of his men was hit by the enemy fire, 2d Lt. Graves moved through the fire-swept area to his radio and, while directing suppressive fire from his men, requested air support and adjusted a heavy volume of artillery and helicopter gunship fire upon the enemy. After attending the wounded, 2d Lt. Graves, accompanied by another marine, moved from his relatively safe position to confirm the results of the earlier engagement. Observing that several of the enemy were still alive, he launched a determined assault, eliminating the remaining enemy troops. He then began moving the patrol to a landing zone for extraction, when the unit again came under intense fire which wounded two more marines and 2d Lt. Graves. Refusing medical attention, he once more adjusted air strikes and artillery fire upon the enemy while directing the fire of his men. He led his men to a new landing site into which he skillfully guided the incoming aircraft and boarded his men while remaining exposed to the hostile fire. Realizing that one of the wounded had not embarked, he directed the aircraft to depart and, along with another marine, moved to the side of the casualty. Confronted with a shortage of ammunition, 2d Lt. Graves utilized supporting arms and directed fire until a second helicopter arrived. At this point, the volume of enemy fire intensified, hitting the helicopter and causing it to crash shortly after liftoff. All aboard were killed. Second Lt. Graves’ outstanding courage, superb leadership, and indomitable fighting spirit throughout the day were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.