Black History Month Brave Marine died fighting to the end

Published 12:40 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2024

By Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC (Ret)
Vietnam War – U.S. Marine Corps – Medal of Honor – Miguel Keith, Combined Action, Platoon 1-3-2, III Marine
Amphibious Force, May 8, 1970. Republic of Vietnam.
Citation; For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving
as a machine gunner with Combined Action Platoon 1-3-2.
During the early morning L/Cpl. Keith was seriously wounded when his platoon was subjected to a heavy ground
attack by a greatly outnumbering enemy force.
Despite his painful wounds, he ran across the fire-swept terrain to check the security of vital defensive positions and
then, while completely exposed to view, proceeded to deliver a hail of devastating machine-gun fire against the
Determined to stop five of the enemy soldiers approaching the command post, he rushed forward, firing as he
advanced. He succeeded in disposing of three of the attackers and in dispersing the remaining two. At this point, a
grenade detonated near L/Cpl. Keith, knocking him to the ground and inflicting further severe wounds.
Fighting pain and weakness from loss of blood, he again braved the concentrated hostile fire to charge an estimated
25 enemy soldiers who were massing to attack. The vigor of his assault and his well-placed fire eliminated four of the
enemy soldiers while the remainder fled for cover.
During this valiant effort, he was mortally wounded by an enemy soldier. By his courageous and inspiring
performance in the face of almost overwhelming odds, L/Cpl. Keith contributed in large measure to the success of his
platoon in routing a numerically superior enemy force and upheld the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the
U.S. Naval Service.

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