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Marvin Glenn Shields
Marvin Glenn Shields, Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1939-12-30)December 30, 1939
Died June 10, 1965(1965-06-10) (aged 25)
Place of birth Port Townsend, Washington
Place of death KIA, Dong Xoai, Republic of Vietnam
Place of burial Gardiner Cemetery, Gardiner, Washington
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1962–1965
Rank Construction Mechanic Third Class
Unit Mobile Construction Battalion 11
Seabee Team 1104
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Marvin Glenn Shields (December 30, 1939–June 10, 1965) was the first and only Seabee to receive the Medal of Honor. He was also the first United States Navy Sailor to receive the Medal of Honor for action in Vietnam.


Marvin G. Shields born December 30, 1939, in Port Townsend, Washington, enlisted in the Navy January 8, 1962. Shields graduated from high school in 1958 and had moved to Hyder, Alaska, where he worked the goldmines. After construction training, he served with Mobile Construction Battalion 11, and was with Seabee Team 1104 at Dong Xoai, South Vietnam, June 10, 1965, when a Vietcong regiment attacked. After being wounded, Shields continued to carry up ammunition to the firing line, and after receiving a second wound, insisted on helping a more severely wounded soldier to safety. Refusing to consider himself and now greatly weakened, he again exposed himself to enemy fire, volunteering to help knock out a machine gun which had the entire camp pinned down. Shields died from wounds he received after he and others “succeeded in destroying the enemy machine gun emplacement, thus undoubtedly saving the lives of many of their fellow servicemen in the compound.” He posthumously received the Medal of Honor September 13, 1966.[1] He is buried at Gardiner Cemetery, Gardiner, Washington.[2] His name is listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Panel 02E, Row 007.[3]

Medal of Honor citation[]

Marvin G. Shields, United States Navy, (posthumous), Construction Mechanic Third Class, U.S. Navy, Seabee Team 1104., Dong Xoai, Republic of Vietnam, 10 June 1965.


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with United States Navy Seabee Team 1104 at Dong Xoai, Republic of Vietnam, on 10 June 1965. Although wounded when the compound of Detachment A-342, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, came under intense fire from an estimated reinforced Viet Cong regiment employing machine gun, heavy weapons and small arms, Shields continued to resupply his fellow Americans with needed ammunition and to return the enemy fire for a period of approximately three hours, at which time the Viet Cong launched a massive attack at close range with flame throwers, hand grenades and small-arms fire. Wounded a second time during this attack, Shields nevertheless assisted in carrying a more critically wounded man to safety, and then resumed firing at the enemy for four more hours. When the Commander asked for a volunteer to accompany him in an attempt to knock out an enemy machine gun emplacement which was endangering the lives of all personnel in the compound because of the accuracy of its fire, Shields unhesitatingly volunteered for this extremely hazardous mission. Proceeding toward their objective with a 3.5- inch rocket launcher, they succeeded in destroying the enemy machine gun emplacement, thus undoubtedly saving the lives of many of their fellow servicemen in the compound. Shields was mortally wounded by hostile fire while returning to his defensive position. His heroic initiative and great personal valor in the face of intense enemy fire sustain and enhance the finest tradition of the United States Naval Service.[4]

See also[]


  1. United States Navy. DANFS Marvin Shields
  2. "Marvin Glenn Shields". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved July 26, 2010. 
  3. Virtual Wall
  4. United States Navy. Navy Medal of Honor: Vietnam War 1964-1975.
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Naval History & Heritage Command.

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