Wesley Lee Fox (born September 30, 1931) is a retired Colonel in the United States Marine Corps with 43 years of service. Fox received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Vietnam War. He is considered to be one of the legendary war heroes within the Marine Corps.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Fox was born to John Wesley and Desola Lee (née Crouch) Fox in Herndon, Virginia, the oldest of ten siblings. He attended Warren County High School in Fort Royal, Virginia until 1948.
Korean War[edit | edit source]
He enlisted in the Marine Corps shortly before his 19th birthday, on August 4, 1950 during the Korean War. He completed recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris, Island, South Carolina. Serving as a rifleman with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, he was wounded in action in Korea on September 8, 1951 and sent to the U.S. Navy Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V". He recovered in 1952 and was sent back to Korea in 1954 as a Platoon Sergeant with Company G, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. When he returned home from Korea, he was assigned to duty as both a drill instructor from 1955 to 1957 and a recruiter from 1957 to 1960. He was promoted to First Sergeant in May 1966. Shortly afterwards, he was commissioned as a Marine Second Lieutenant.
Vietnam War[edit | edit source]
Fox served in the Vietnam War for 13 months as an adviser to the Vietnamese Marine Corps. In November 1968, he became company commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines until May 1969. During Operation Dewey Canyon in Quang Tri Province, he was wounded twice on February 22, 1969. He was wounded the first time in the shoulder when his company was attacked by a large enemy force. 1st Lieutenant (then) Fox then personally neutralized one enemy emplacement and directed his company to destroy others. After his company's executive officer was mortally wounded, he continued to direct the company's actions, ordering air strikes and coordinating the advance until the enemy retreated. Fox, the only officer left in his company capable of resistance, was wounded again in the final assault but refused medical attention while he reorganized his troops and prepared the wounded for evacuation. For his heroic actions that day he was presented the Medal of Honor by President Richard Nixon on March 2, 1971.
Post Vietnam[edit | edit source]
He retired from the Marine Corps as a full colonel in September 1993 at the mandatory age of 62. He held every enlisted rank except Sergeant Major and every officer rank except General. He continued to wear the uniform for eight more years as a deputy commandant of cadets for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. During his time at Virginia Tech, Fox spoke of his experiences to America's next generation of military officers, business executives, and civic leaders.
Fox resides in Blacksburg, Virginia, with his wife, Dotti (formerly Dotti Lu Bossinger). They have three daughters.
Military Awards and Decorations[edit | edit source]
Colonel Wesley L. Fox has been decorated for service, to include:
Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]
The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
CAPTAIN WESLEY L. FOX
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as commanding officer of Company A, in action against the enemy in the northern A Shau Valley. Capt. (then 1st Lt.) Fox's company came under intense fire from a large well concealed enemy force. Capt. Fox maneuvered to a position from which he could assess the situation and confer with his platoon leaders. As they departed to execute the plan he had devised, the enemy attacked and Capt. Fox was wounded along with all of the other members of the command group, except the executive officer. Capt. Fox continued to direct the activity of his company. Advancing through heavy enemy fire, he personally neutralized 1 enemy position and calmly ordered an assault against the hostile emplacements. He then moved through the hazardous area coordinating aircraft support with the activities of his men. When his executive officer was mortally wounded, Capt. Fox reorganized the company and directed the fire of his men as they hurled grenades against the enemy and drove the hostile forces into retreat. Wounded again in the final assault, Capt. Fox refused medical attention, established a defensive posture, and supervised the preparation of casualties for medical evacuation. His indomitable courage, inspiring initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger inspired his marines to such aggressive action that they overcame all enemy resistance and destroyed a large bunker complex. Capt. Fox's heroic actions reflect great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps, and uphold the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
See also[edit | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wesley L. Fox.|
- List of living Medal of Honor recipients
- List of Medal of Honor recipients for the Vietnam War
- List of Korean Conflict Bronze Star recipients
References[edit | edit source]
- "Colonel Wesley L. Fox, USMC". Who's Who in Marine Corps History. History Division, United States Marine Corps. http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Whos_Who/Fox_WL.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
- "Medal of Honor — Captain Wesley I. Fox (Medal of Honor citation)". Marines Awarded the Medal of Honor. History Division, United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 2007-02-22. http://web.archive.org/web/20070222175445/www.usmc.mil/moh.nsf/000003c919889c0385255f980058f5b6/000003c919889c0385255fa300753632?OpenDocument.
[edit | edit source]
- "Colonel Fox's personal page on HomeOfHeroes.com". http://www.homeofheros.com/wesleyfox/.
- "Colonel Fox's Medal of Honor citation". http://www.pbs.org/weta/americanvalor/stories/fox.html.
- "Interview at the Pritzker Military Library". http://www.pritzkermilitarylibrary.org/events/2005-10-27-wesleyFox.jsp.
- "Medal of Honor recipients". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. August 3, 2009. http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/Vietnam-a-l.html. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
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