F Co., 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines
1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF
Quang Nag Province, RVN
25 February 1966

SSG Conner was leading his platoon on a search and destroy operation against Viet Cong ssg Connorpositions in an area honeycombed with extensive cave and tunnel complexes.

As Connor maneuvered his platoon forward encountering intermittent enemy small-arms fire, he spotted an enemy Spider Hole about 15 meters to his front. He pulled the pin from a fragmentation grenade, ready to charge the hole to toss the grenade in.

When he pulled the pin, he realized the, although he was still holding the spoon in place, the firing mechanism engaged and the 4-second timing fuse had been ignited.  Realizing that he couldn’t cover the distance to the enemy spider hole before the grenade detonated, and throwing it in any direction would result in death or injury to fellow Marines tactically deployed to support his attack.

SSG Connor made a conscious decision to hold the grenade against his body to absorb the explosion and shield his men from the shrapnel.

His MOH citation outs it his way:

His (SSG Conner) act of extreme valor and selflessness in the face of virtually certain death, although leaving him mortally wounded, spared many of his fellow marines from death or injury. His gallant action in giving his life in the cause of freedom reflects the highest credit upon the Marine Corps and the Armed Forces of the United States.


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