b. 01/08/1933 New York. d. 23/03/2019 Virginia.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 08-09/08/1966 Cam Lo, Vietnam.
Howard Lee was born on August 1, 1933, in New York City. He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York in 1951, and from Pace College with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, on June 19, 1955. While in his senior year at college, he enlisted as a member of the Platoon Leaders Class in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
In September 1955, he entered the 14th Officer Candidates' Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, and upon completing the course the following December, was commissioned a Marine Corps Reserve second lieutenant. Lieutenant Lee completed The Basic School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, in July 1956 and the Marine Corps Supply School, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, that September.
He was promoted to first lieutenant in June 1957, and integrated into the Regular Marine Corps in January 1958. First Lieutenant Lee next served as the Battalion S-4 Officer with H&S Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division, San Francisco, California. In February 1960, he was assigned duty as Guard Officer at the Marine Barracks, U.S. Naval Propellant Plant, Indian Head, Maryland.
After his promotion to captain on July 1, 1961, he was assigned duties as Platoon Commander and, later, Instructor, The Basic School, Marine Corps Schools in Quantico, where he remained until June 1964. Ordered to the Republic of Vietnam in April 1966, Capt Lee served as Commanding Officer of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. He received the Bronze Star with Combat "V" for heroic action on June 26, 1966 – June 27, 1966. Then, on 8-August 9, 1966 that he distinguished himself above and beyond the call of duty in the vicinity of Quang Tri, for which he received the Medal of Honor. He was promoted in July 1972 to lieutenant colonel and retired in 1975 from the Marine Corps
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer, Company E, Fourth Marines, Third Marine Division near Cam L, Republic of Vietnam, on 8 and 9 August 1966. A platoon of Major (then Captain) Lee's company, while on an operation deep in enemy territory, was attacked and surrounded by a large Vietnamese force. Realizing that the unit had suffered numerous casualties, depriving it of effective leadership, and fully aware that the platoon was even then under heavy attack by the enemy, Major Lee took seven men and proceeded by helicopter to reinforce the beleaguered platoon. Major Lee disembarked from the helicopter with two of his men and, braving withering enemy fire, led them into the perimeter, where he fearlessly moved from position to position, directing and encouraging the overtaxed troops. The enemy then launched a massive attack with the full might of their forces. Although painfully wounded by fragments from an enemy grenade in several areas of his body, including his eye, Major Lee continued undauntedly throughout the night to direct the valiant defense, coordinate supporting fires, and apprise higher headquarters of the plight of the platoon. The next morning he collapsed from his wounds and was forced to relinquish command. However, the small band of Marines had held their position and repeatedly fought off many vicious enemy attacks for a grueling six hours until their evacuation was effected the following morning. Major Lee's actions saved his men from capture, minimized the loss of lives, and dealt the enemy a severe defeat. His indomitable fighting spirit, superb leadership, and great personal valor in the face of tremendous odds, reflect great credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
BURIAL LOCATION: COLONIAL GROVE MEMORIAL PARK, VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA.
NO IMAGE AVAILABLE