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Wesley L. Fox

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Wesley Lee Fox
Col Wesley L Fox.jpg
Colonel Wesley L. Fox, U.S. Marine Corps
BornSeptember 30, 1931(1931-09-30)
Herndon, Virginia
DiedNovember 24, 2017(2017-11-24) (aged 86)
Blacksburg, Virginia
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchSeal of the United States Marine Corps.svg United States Marine Corps
Years of service1950–1993
Unit3rd Battalion, 5th Marines
1st Battalion, 9th Marines
MCRD San Diego
2nd Force Reconnaissance Company
Marine Air Detachment
Basic School, Quantico
Commands heldCompany A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines
Battalion Commander, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines,
Commanding officer, U.S. Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, Quantico, Virginia
Battles/warsKorean War
Vietnam War
AwardsMedal of Honor
Other workDeputy Commandant of Cadets at Virginia Tech
Marine Corps Recruiter

Wesley Lee Fox (September 30, 1931 – November 24, 2017) was a retired United States Marine Corps colonel with 43 years of service. Fox received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War, and was thought to be one of the Marine Corps' legendary heroes.

Early life

Fox was born in Herndon, Virginia. He studied at Warren County High School. He married Dotti Fox in the 1950s.


Beginning in September 1967, Fox served in the Vietnam War for 13 months as an executive officer of a South Vietnamese Marine Battalion.[1] In November 1968, he was reassigned to Vietnam as the company commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines until May 1969.

On February 22, 1969, during Operation Dewey Canyon in Quang Tri Province, he was wounded twice. He was wounded the first time in the shoulder when his company was attacked by a large enemy force. A first lieutenant at the time, Fox then personally neutralized one enemy emplacement and directed his company to destroy others. After his company's executive officer was mortally wounded, he continued to direct the company's actions, ordering air strikes and coordinating the advance until the enemy retreated; Fox, the only officer left in his company that was capable of resisting the enemy, was wounded again in the final assault, but refused medical attention while he reorganized his troops and prepared the wounded for evacuation.

For his heroic actions that day he was presented the Medal of Honor by President Richard Nixon on March 2, 1971.[2]

Later life

Fox retired from the Marine Corps as a full colonel in September 1993 at the mandatory age of 62. Fox has written a book about his experiences in the military, Marine Rifleman: Forty-Three Years in the Corps (

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ISBN 1-57488-425-5), and was featured on the 2003 PBS program American Valor.

Fox died in Blacksburg, Virginia in the evening of November 24, 2017 at the age of 86.[3]


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