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.”

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47 thoughts on “The 300th Marine is bestowed Medal of Honor, for ‘unmatched bravery’ in Hue City”

  1. SEMPER FI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You so call football player(US) this is what a REAL MAN IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RACE has nothing to do with this!!!!!!! He will Always Stand For The Flag!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Everyone, do this Marine and all service men and women who have bravely served our great nation for 242 years. DO NOT WATCH THE NFL GAMES, on November 11, 2018. That is Veteran’s Day and we should all boycott the NFL.

    1. Also, do not attend in person. It would be fantastic to see nothing but empty seats during the television broadcast. Of course the Canadian runners would be there.

  3. Guys like the Gunny are still my inspiration (and I’m an old grouch now), I’m proud to have even worn the same uniform ! Semper Fi ,Gunny and God watch and Bless You.


    1. I also applaud Sgt Maj Canley for his for his heroic actions in Hue City. Thank God men like him have served our country. I have always believed that Marines will march into harms way such that when the Commander in Chief says ‘GO’ we go, no mater who he is, his political views, his beliefs, or his political catch phrases. You sir however have used the recognition of the heroic action by a fine American Marine into something other by bringing in the ‘fake news’ statement. Even a blind man can see what you were doing with your fake news ‘catch phrase’. It is only my opinion but this is not the ‘stage’ for you to publicize anyone’s political affiliation, including yours. PFC R. Field, USMC — PH Recipient — Opration Starlight, Chu Lia, Vietnam, 1965

      1. I agree with you 100%.I have said it before on many occasions this is not the proper forum for politics. We get enough with the 24hr news. This MARINE is a TRUE American Hero!. Harry

      2. Thank you PFC Field, USMC! SEMPER FI DEVIL DOG! Yes these proceedings are NOT about political affiliations. They are to honor the heroic efforts and actions of a courageous Marine. Let us ALL remember that, as we honor our Marines who have served and especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Semper Fi. – SGT. M. Castro Jr. USMC 1975-1979.

  5. Outstanding Gunny! In 1969 I Had The Honor To Have Gunny Canley As My 1Sgt! C co 1St Bn 9Th Marines! The Walking Dead! LZ Stud Quang Tri Province! Do Or Die!

  6. It lakes me proud to be able to call Sgt. Maj. Canley a brother. Even so, He should received it as soon as he came home, NOT FIFTY YEARS LATER. HE WAS/AND IS A MARINE’S MARINE. SemperFi MARINE. I see God’s not done with you yet.

  7. Glad to see a fellow HUE Veteran receiving his due. He is a Marine’s Marine. Semper Fi First Sergeant. Although I never had the pleasure to meet you, I do know First Sergeant Eddie News from your company. We are members of Slattery Detatchment of the Marine Corp League here in Whippany, NJ..

  8. Why did it take 50 years for this courageous Marine to receive his MOH? John Ligato deserves credit along with other brother Marines for their 13 year quest to elevate the award for Gunny Canley. Semper Fi, Sgt. Major Canley!

  9. Keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps! God Bless and keep you Gunny! Semper Fi, Marine!

  10. When you’ve worn the Marine Corps uniform, it’s Marines Like Gunny Canley, that make you feel very special. A brotherhood like no other.

  11. Our nation thanks you Gunny……..I thank you with my Marine heart, your example by your valor is what keeps our Corps alive and makes brave men join us to keep America free. You are one of our great warriors, Semper Fi.

  12. The bravery you did during those grueling times cannot be truly describe. I Thank You, and wish you all the best, as I cry for all the lives that were lost during terrible times. Semper Fi

  13. Thank God for Marines like Sgt Maj Canley and the Marine Corps, makes me truly proud to have served as a Marine, Semper Fi!!!

  14. Well deserved MOH IMO. Your Navy Cross should not be rescinded either. We get it you are receiving the award for all Marines past, present and future and I say bravo SgtMajor Canley. You are an inspiration to men and women of our Corps serving today and tomorrow.. You were not born a GySgt so to me it is obvious there could be a whole lot more said about your service to the point you took over the company at Hue and after that epic battle of Hue City. Semper Fi SgtMaj

  15. Hue was a bitch! We were told not to destroy the buildings, NVA and VC were kicking the hell out of us from elevated positions. Gunny Canley tried to follow that order as did we all. Finally they realized that was impossible. A lot of Marines have it all that day, Gunny Canley saw to a lot didn’t. Simper Fi Sargent Major Canley. It’s been too long coming.

  16. Cpl Johnnie Hawkins U.S.M.C. 1965 – 1969 Well deserved MOH. I thank GOD for MARINES like the Gunny makes me so proud to have served as a MARINE!!!!! Semper Fi

  17. You co-k su-kers that deminished Gunny’s MOH by invoking the NFL kneeling should drop and give him 300 pushups! If you want to go that way, how about the Draft Dodger putting the MOH around the Gunny’s neck!!!! Honor the Marine only!! Leave your politics out of it. Cpl. WD Walter, 1969-1975.

  18. Thanks SgtMaj Canley as a member of A Co 1/9 1966. I am so proud to say I serviced with the Walk Dead. To know that one of our Heroes received MOH. I know every Marine who serviced with you know you have finally receive what you deserved SemperFi. God Bless SgtMaj Canley and The United States Of America.

  19. Yes, congratulations to Gunnny Sgt Canley. A good Marine; Semper Fi. There are any number of U.S. Marines served with valor in Vietnam and other wars. A friend, Gunny Sgt. James, served in Vietnam war. His unit was ambushed and he one other terribly wounded Marine survived. They tried to make their way back from the enemy side of the line to their unit. Eventually they were captured by the enemy and taken prisoners. Several days later Sgt James and wounded Marine escaped and Sgt James literally carried his wounded buddy through the jungle and made it back to their unit. Unfortunately, the wounded Marine died before returning to their unit; like good Marine, Sgt. James carried him all the way back to their unit. “Don’t leave anyone behind”. Sgt James retired in 2001. We honored him by making him an honorary Navajo. Code Talker.

  20. A true Esperit de Corps Marines make men I’m proud to have stood and walk among some of these hero’s . Semper Fi Gunny a well deserved honor for God , Corps , Country. May the souls of these men ( Marines & Corpsman) lost in this battle and all conflicts RIP . I remain a Brother in arms Sgt C J Clavier retired FMF 1st Marine Div FLC

  21. Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue! Semper Fi!! Congratulations on a job well done. All Marines Past, Present and Future will remember your name and what You did as a Marine. We are a breed unto our own. Marines are one in the same no difference no distinction we are ONE UNIFIED BODY. We are MARINES. Only understood by us, forever. David Bryk Cpl.

  22. I’ve never understood why the Medal of Honor could be awarded within 3 to 4 months during WW II and it takes 3 to 4 years now adays, and in this case 50 years.

  23. Another WELL DONE to the Gunny! Makes me stand a little taller to have served in the Marine Corps. Sgt..Richard M. Sorensen “K”. Company 3rd Bat.4th Marine Regiment ,1st Marine Brigade, 3rd Marine Division ! Semper FI! Gunny

  24. Congratulations SgTMaj. Well deserved and a job well done. Thank You for Your Service,Your Inspiration, and Leadership. “SEMPER Fi”.

  25. My brother George was w/Charley 1/1 in Hue City during Tet.Said he was in Hue before the offensive.Said it was nice but they had to level it in order to save Marine lives.Oohrah Sgt/Major.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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

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

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