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.