Skip to content
The 300th Marine is Bestowed Medal of Honor for ‘Unmatched Bravery' in Hue City

The 300th Marine is Bestowed Medal of Honor for ‘Unmatched Bravery' in Hue City

President Donald Trump bestowed the nation’s highest award for combat valor, the Medal of Honor, to Marine Ret. Sgt. Maj. John Canley at a White House ceremony on Wednesday.

The award was presented to Canley nearly 50 years after his heroic feat at the infamous battle of Hue City, Vietnam, that cost the lives of hundreds American service members.

“Fifty years ago, an American Marine fought with unmatched bravery in one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War: the battle of Hue City. The name of that Marine is Sgt. Maj. John Canley,” Trump said during the award ceremony.

Then-Gunnery Sgt. Canley, was thrust into leading his Alpha company Marines at the outset of the battle after his company commander was severely wounded.

From January 31 to February 6, 1968, Canley spearheaded and defended his men from enemy attacks, and exposed himself to deadly machine gun and rocket fire from North Vietnamese Army soldiers who assaulted the urban stronghold during the Tet Offensive.

On multiple occasions, Canley ran into intense enemy fire to rescue wounded Marines.

During once such occasion on February 6, 1968, the gunny scaled a hospital compound wall twice in full sight of the enemy to rescue fallen comrades.

Throughout the harrowing seven days of intense combat, Canley saved the lives of nearly twenty Marines despite sustaining serious injuries, Trump said.

For his heroic actions, Canley was originally awarded the Navy Cross, the nation’s second highest award for combat valor.

Marines who served under Canley during the Hue City, like former Pfc. John Ligato, pushed a nearly 13 year endeavor to upgrade the gunny’s award.

“We’d all be dead if it wasn’t for the gunny,” said Ligato, who served under Canley at Hue City.

Canley took care of his Marines, rarely slept during the battle, and single-handedly repelled multiple attacks “literally charging machine gun positions with law rockets and hand grenades,” Ligato described.

“Everybody had a story about him,” Eddie Neas, who was a 19-year-old lance corporal and machine gunner in Alpha company.

The gunny was known for leading from the front and setting the example.

“When the sh*t hit the fan … men like Gunny Canley were already up in front with you,” Neas said.

The intense urban battle at Hue City is hallowed battle ground for the Corps. Lessons learned from the bloody street to street battle are still imparted onto Marines today.

“I am accepting this on behalf of all the Marines I had the honor of serving with in Vietnam and who continue to be an inspiration to me every day,” Canley said in a press release. “Their bravery and sacrifice is unparalleled.”

Originally Published Here>>

Previous article Finally


Victor Hasenauer - April 28, 2020

What a Marine! Never saw any article in the paper about the ceremony. Sgt.Maj. Canley is true American Hero! I salute you!

L. F. Davila - April 28, 2020

So PROUD to have served in Alpha1/1 with Gunny Canley. I arrived in country shortly after Tet ‘68 Congrats To Sgt, Major Canley well deserved.Semper Fi. Davila, Sgt USMC ‘67-70

Calvin Diggs - April 28, 2020

Watch what the I want…..try not to shoot people because of your ignorance of the real problem

Calvin Diggs - April 28, 2020

This is about this Marine….. not your twisted beliefs…..

Calvin Diggs - April 28, 2020


Cpl. P.A. Pannelle – 1960-1966 - April 28, 2020

Ssemper Fi my brother. The Lord is still walking beside you.

Jesse Griffin VSM CAR CIB - April 28, 2020

Thank God, The Sergeant Major was blessed with the longevity of living the fifty years it took to get to this auspicious occasion. Semper Fidelis, Sergeant Major.

Sgt K. Kirkland USMC 1981-1986 - April 28, 2020

Thank you Sergeant Major. Your courage, insight and wherewithal are an inspiration to us all. I’m proud to have worn the same uniform as you. Even more so, I’ve tried to convey those qualities to all my children. Today, my oldest left for MCRD San Diego – with a determination and desire to grow and learn all the tenets the Marine Corps taught me, by leaders – like you. I pray many more years for you and your family together in peace and happiness.

Dan Corum Cpl- USMCR 1963-1969 - April 28, 2020

Sgt. Maj. Canley appears to still be a recruiter poster Marine. Looks like he could still take names and kick a**. Glad thsy finally upgraded his award to the much deserved MOH.

james cortez 1867483 1959 =1963 lance cpl. - April 28, 2020

marines like you makes me even prouder to have been a marine

Leave a comment

* Required fields