The Loss of a Legend

The Loss of a Legend

Medal of Honor recipient, U.S. Marine, and former deputy commandant for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Col. Wesley L. Fox died Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Blacksburg, Virginia. He was 86.

Fox grew up in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and enlisted with the U.S. Marines in 1950 at the start of the Korean War. Months later, he was deployed to Korea as a rifleman and began a 43-year career in the military. He spent the first 16 years as a noncommissioned officer, and in addition to his combat assignments, he worked as a drill instructor, a recruiter, and a military police officer. In 1966, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant.

On Feb. 22, 1969, while serving as the commanding officer of Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division in A Shau Valley, Vietnam, Fox’s unit was attacked. Despite injury, Fox led his men as they advanced through heavy fire. They eventually forced the North Vietnamese troops to retreat. Wounded again in a final assault, Fox continued to refuse medical attention and instead ensured that other wounded Marines were tended to and evacuated.

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42 comments


  • Jack Babuscak USMC GySgt Retired

    Had the honor of serving under GySgt Wesley at NAS Jax in 1964. Truly, a Marine’s Marine. RIP and Semper Fi.


  • Susan Matisa

    Thank you for your service, Col. Fox. Semper Fi and RIP.


  • Jeffery Walke

    I am very honored to say , I have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with this outstanding, Marine, and Gentleman. On a couple of occasions. A true hero of mine. As a founding member of, Run to the Wall, Ride for freedom. Col Fox , was always scheduled to be somewhere else during our Memorial day service. So he would tell me, do us proud. I had hoped one day event’s would allow him to be our guest speaker. But his tour has ended here. Semper Fi sir. We will honor this hero in May of 2018 before heading to the Vietnam memorial.


  • CWO-5 Noble Callaway USMC Retired

    I meet Col Fox at a 1st Marine Division Reunion some years ago. I had of course knew of him and read his book. He was a great man and Marine. Semper Fi brother.


  • Billy Myers

    My book, Marines, Medals and Vietnam, includes the story of Col. Fox and The Marines of A/1/9 and their actions on the day he earned the Medal of Honor.


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