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  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969
  • United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA  west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969

Item: M0215-10

United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969

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United States. A Vietnam Medal of Honour to Private Austin, KIA west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, 1969

A Vietnam War Medal of Honor Group, to Private First Class Oscar Palmer Austin, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced) Fleet Marine Forces, United States Marine Corps, Killed in Action west of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, while Shielding a Fellow Marine, on February 23, 1969

United States; Navy Medal of Honor, Type X (1964-present) (bronze gilt, unmarked, 53 mm (w) x 62 mm (h) inclusive of its anchor suspension, on an original full-length neck ribbon with thirteen star horizontal octagonal cravat pad, triple snap closure); Purple Heart (two-piece construction, bronze gilt with purple, red, white and green enamels, un-named, 35 mm (w) x 43.5 mm (h), original ribbon with brooch pinback, intact enamels); Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal (bronze, 34.3 mm, original ribbon with brooch pinback); National Defense Service Medal (bronze, 32 mm, original ribbon with brooch pinback); Vietnam Service Medal (bronze, 32 mm, three bronze stars placed vertically on its original ribbon with brooch pinback); four Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) awards: Military Merit Medal (First Republic issue) (bronze, 36.5 mm (w) x 62.2 mm (h) inclusive of its palm leaf and crossed swords suspension, original ribbon with dual push pins); Gallantry Cross (bronze, 38.2 mm (w) x 58.5 mm (h) inclusive of its dual dragons suspension, bronze palm branch clasp affixed to its original ribbon with brooch pinback); Civil Actions Medal (bronze gilt with deep red and white enamels, 32 mm (w) x 32 mm (h), original ribbon with dual push pins); and Campaign Medal (bronze gilt with red, white and green enamels, 39 mm (w) x 43.5 mm (h), silvered "1960-" ribbon banner clasp affixed to its original ribbon with dual push pins). Accompanied by a Four-Level Ribbon Bar (level one: Navy Medal of Honor; level two: Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon (Navy and Marine Corps), Presidential Unit Citation (Navy and Marine Corps); level three: Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze stars; level four: Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) Gallantry Cross with bronze palm branch clasp, Civil Actions Medal with bronze palm branch clasp, Campaign Medal with silvered "1960-" ribbon banner clasp; mounted to an aluminum frame with triple push pins); Gold Star Lapel Pin (two-piece construction, 1/10 10K Gold Filled with purple enamels, marked "1/10 10K GF" (1/10 10K Gold Filled) and "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / ACT OF CONGRESS / AUGUST 1966" on the reverse, 15.5 mm (w) x 15.7 mm (h), push pin); United States Marine Corps Rifle Sharpshooter Qualification Badge (chromed metal, marked "GI" and "UT" on the reverse, 32.5 mm (w) x 36 mm (h), suspended from a 48.2 mm (w) x 7 mm (h) suspension bar inscribed "RIFLE SHARPSHOOTER", with dual push pin points); two United States Marine Corps Collar Insignia (bronze gilt, maker marked "GEMSCO" on their reverses, 24 mm (w) x 25.2 mm (h) each, intact screwbacks); two Department of Defense Photographs of Private First Class Austin (black and white, gloss finish, stamped in blue ink "HQMC Washington, D.C. / MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT (POSTHUMOUS) - - / Private First Class Oscar P. Austin, / 2472737, United States Marine Corps / (dress blues, covered), / DEFENSE DEPT. PHOTO (MARINE CORPS) / mis A700451" on their reverses, 205 mm (w) x 254 mm (h) each); Medal of Honor Citation to Private First Class Oscar Palmer Austin, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.) FMF, United States Marine Corps (printed in four-color inks, on a white paper stock, 216 mm (w) x 335 mm (h)); Medal of Honor Presentation Program 1970 (entitled "Medal of Honor Presentation (Posthumously) / by Spiro T. Agnew / Vice President of the United States of America / AT THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON, D.C. ON MONDAY, 20 APRIL 1970 AT 1500 HOURS", Austin one of fifteen awardees that day, printed in black, blue and gold-coloured inks, on a thick white paper stock, 16 pages plus cover, 157 mm (w) x 230 mm (h), dual staple bound); Commissioning of USS Oscar Austin DDG 79 Program (entitled "THE COMMISSIONING OF USS OSCAR AUSTIN DDG 79 / 19 AUGUST 2000 / NORFOLK, VIRGINIA / HONOR AND SACRIFICE", 64 pages and 4 page foldout printed in four-color inks, on a gloss paper stock, cover in four-color inks on a matte paper stock, 217 mm (w) x 280 mm (h), dual staple bound); Medal of Honor Folder (with assorted paperwork and research papers, printed in blue and gold-coloured inks, on a white paper stock, 225 mm (w) x 278 mm (h)); and a Binder Dedicated to "Oscar P. Austin PFC USMC Medal of Honor (Posthumously) Vietnam 1969" (three-ring binder containing fourteen plastic sleeves with various paperwork and research papers, 255 mm (w) x 295 mm (h)). Extremely fine.

Footnote: Oscar Palmer Austin was born on January 15, 1948 in Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County, Texas, the son of Frank Austin and Mildren Austin. The couple met and married while in Texas, then moved, making their home in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona. They had six children, with Oscar as their second born, raising the children as Baptists. Oscar had four sisters: Bobbi Jean Austin (later Garrett), Lou Evelyn Austin, Mary Ruth Austin and Lola Mae Austin, and one brother, Eddie Ray Austin. Oscar Austin attended Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Phoenix from 1954 to 1963, followed by high school at Phoenix Union High School, where he completed Grade 12 and graduated in 1967. Austin enlisted as a Private (2472757) for two years' service at the Army Air Force Exchange Service in Phoenix on April 22, 1968. He was transferred to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California on April 23rd, where he completed recruit training with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment in July 1968. He continued his training at Camp Pendleton, California, with Individual Combat Training with Company T, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment, Marine Corps Base in August 1968 and Basic Infantry Training with Weapons Company, Basic Infantry Training Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment in September 1968. Upon completion of basic training, Austin was promoted to Private First Class on October 1, 1968. He was transferred later that month to the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), where he served as an assistant machine gunner, assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced) Fleet Marine Forces. The unit itself had been in Vietnam since 1965 through various deployments. Austin would quickly find himself outside of Da Nang in 1969, where he would spend the majority of his time in combat. Da Nang was the site of the northernmost major airbase for American forces in Vietnam and was located just eight-five miles south of the 17th Parallel that separated South Vietnam from North Vietnam. The traffic flying in and out of Da Nang during the Vietnam war made it the world’s busiest airport in the single runway category and when a second runway was added, it actually rivaled the world’s busiest airport overall due to the high military traffic.

The region’s proximity to the north and high military value meant it was subject to frequent attacks from the North Vietnamese forces. Private First Class Austin participated in operations against the Communist Insurgents (Viet Cong) Forces in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam from October 31, 1969 to February 23, 1969, including Operation Daring Endeavor (November 10 to 17, 1968), Operation Meade River (November 20 to December 3, 1968) and Operation Taylor Common (December 7 to 26, 1968). Private First Class Oscar Palmer Austin, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced) Fleet Marine Forces, United States Marine Corps was Killed in Action while in Quang Nam Province, six and a half miles west of Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam, on February 23, 1969, suffering gun shot wounds to the chest and neck from enemy small arms fire, while shielding a fellow wounded Marine. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his brave actions against enemy forces that day, his official issued citation inscribed: "The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to PRIVATE FIRST CLASS OSCAR P. AUSTIN (MCSN: 2472757), UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, for service as set forth in the following / CITATION: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Assistant Machine Gunner with Company E, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division in connection with operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. During the early morning hours of 23 February 1969, Private First Class Austin's observation post was subjected to fierce ground attack by a large North Vietnamese Army force supported by a heavy volume of hand grenades, satchel charges, and small arms fire. Observing that one of his wounded companions had fallen unconscious in a position dangerously exposed to the hostile fire, Private First Class Austin unhesitatingly left the relative security of his fighting hole and, with complete disregard for his own safety, raced across the fire-swept terrain to assist the Marine to a covered location. As he neared the casualty, he observed an enemy grenade land nearby and, reacting instantly, leaped between the injured Marine and the lethal object, absorbing the effects of its detonation. As he ignored his painful injuries and turned to examine the wounded man, he saw a North Vietnamese Army soldier aiming a weapon at his unconscious companion. With full knowledge of the probable consequences and thinking only to protect the Marine, Private First Class Austin resolutely threw himself between the casualty and the hostile soldier and, in so doing, was mortally wounded. Private First Class Austin's indomitable courage, inspiring initiative and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country. /S/RICHARD M. NIXON". His body was returned to the United States, with his burial taking place at Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery, Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona, Plot: Section 44, Block 42, Lot 2, Space 11. Private First Class Austin's family was presented with his Medal of Honor by Vice President Spiro T. Agnew in an official ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Monday, April 20, 1970 at 3:00 pm. Austin one of fifteen posthumous awardees that day.

He is also honored on Panel 32W, Line 88 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. A destroyer, the USS Oscar Austin DDG 79 was named after him, the first of the Flight IIA Aegis Destroyers. She was launched at Bath Shipworks, Bath, Maine, with Austin's mother, Mrs. Mildren Colston Austin, christening the ship in November 1999.However, his mother died the following month of December, before the ship was commissioned on August 19, 2000 at Norfolk, Virginia. In addition, the Enlisted Men's Club at the Basic School, Marine Corps Development and Education Command at Camp Barrett in Quantico, Virginia was named in honor of him.

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