Summary

Medal of Honor recipient who went on to serve 27 years in the Marine Corps.

Conflict Period:
Vietnam War 1
Branch:
Marine Corps 1
Rank:
First Lieutenant 2
Rank:
Captain 1
Birth:
21 Jul 1940 3
Cheshire, Connecticut 4
Connecticut 1
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Harvey Curtiss Barnum, Jr. 3
Full Name:
Harvey C Barnum 1
Birth:
21 Jul 1940 3
Cheshire, Connecticut 3
Connecticut 1
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Vietnam War 1

Branch:
Marine Corps 1
Rank:
First Lieutenant 2
Rank:
Captain 1
Enlistment Location:
Connecticut 1
Award:
Medal of Honor 4
Location:
Ky Phu in Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam 1
Military Unit:
Company H, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division 1

Other Service 4

Branch:
Marine Corps 4
Rank:
Colonel 4
Service Start Date:
1962 4
Service End Date:
1989 4
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Employment:
Position: Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) 3
Start Date: January 21, 2009 3
End Date: 30 Apr 2009 3
Employment:
Position: Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Reserve Affairs 3
Start Date: 23 Jul 2001 3
End Date: 20 Jan 2009 3

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Stories

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. When the company was suddenly pinned down by a hail of extremely accurate enemy fire and was quickly separated from the remainder of the battalion by over 500 meters of open and fire-swept ground, and casualties mounted rapidly. Lt. Barnum quickly made a hazardous reconnaissance of the area, seeking targets for his artillery. Finding the rifle company commander mortally wounded and the radio operator killed, he, with complete disregard for his safety, gave aid to the dying commander, then removed the radio from the dead operator and strapped it to himself. He immediately assumed command of the rifle company, and moving at once into the midst of the heavy fire, rallying and giving encouragement to all units, reorganized them to replace the loss of key personnel and led their attack on enemy positions from which deadly fire continued to come. His sound and swift decisions and his obvious calm served to stabilize the badly decimated units and his gallant example as he stood exposed repeatedly to point out targets served as an inspiration to all. Provided with 2 armed helicopters, he moved fearlessly through enemy fire to control the air attack against the firmly entrenched enemy while skillfully directing 1 platoon in a successful counterattack on the key enemy positions. Having thus cleared a small area, he requested and directed the landing of 2 transport helicopters for the evacuation of the dead and wounded. He then assisted in the mopping up and final seizure of the battalion's objective. His gallant initiative and heroic conduct reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.  

Medal of Honor action

Ky Phu, Quang Tin Province, Vietnam

Barnum was awarded the Medal of Honor on 27 February 1967 for actions he performed a little over a year earlier, on 18 December 1965. A first lieutenant at the time, Barnum took command of a rifle company after its commander was seriously wounded (and soon after died) in a surprise attack. Barnum gave the company attack orders, directed the air assult, and supervised the removal of the dead and wounded. He also coordinated the company's removal to a nearby village across 500 meters of open ground. More details of Barnum's actions can be found in his Medal of Honor citation

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