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Medal of Honor Citation
21 September 1967 | Con Thien, Vietnam
JEDH COLBY BARKER
Rank and Organization: Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company F, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein), FMF
Place and date: Near Con Thien, Republic of Vietnam, 21 September 1967
Entered service at: Park Ridge, NJ
Born: 20 June 1945, Franklin, NH
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a machine gunner with Company F.
During a reconnaissance operation L/Cpl. BARKER's squad was suddenly hit by enemy sniper fire. The squad immediately deployed to a combat formation and advanced to a strongly fortified enemy position, when it was again struck by small arms and automatic weapons fire, sustaining numerous casualties. Although wounded by the initial burst of fire, L/Cpl. BARKER boldly remained in the open, delivering a devastating volume of accurate fire on the numerically superior force. The enemy was intent upon annihilating the small marine force and, realizing that L/Cpl. BARKER was a threat to their position, directed the preponderance of their fire on his position. He was again wounded, this time in the right hand, which prevented him from operating his vitally needed machinegun.
Suddenly and without warning, an enemy grenade landed in the midst of the few surviving marines. Unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his personal safety, L/Cpl. BARKER threw himself upon the deadly grenade, absorbing with his body the full and tremendous force of the explosion. In a final act of bravery, he crawled to the side of a wounded comrade and administered first aid before succumbing to his grievous wounds.
His bold initiative, intrepid fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of almost certain death undoubtedly saved his comrades from further injury or possible death and reflected great credit upon himself, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Signed: Richard M. Nixon
Note: L/Cpl. Barker is also entitled to the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with one campaign star, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with bronze palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal.