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Harvey C. Barnum, Jr. Collection

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Harvey C. Barnum, Jr. Collection

Biographical Information

thumbnail of Barnum Jr., Harvey C.
Harvey C. Barnum, Jr.
State of Birth:
Home State:
MV01 contains an interview with Hiroshi H. Miyamura AFC 2001/001/89470.

War or Conflict
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Military Status
Dates of Service
Entrance into Service
Branch of Service
Marine Corps
Unit of Service
Battery A, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division; 2nd MAW (Marine Aircraft Wing); Company H, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division
Location of Service
Quantico, Virginia; Okinawa, Japan; Vietnam; Philippines; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Arlington, Virginia
Highest Rank
Prisoner of War
Service History Note
The veteran earned the Medal of Honor for his 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. Lieutenant 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 two armed helicopters, he moved fearlessly through enemy fire to control the air attack against the firmly entrenched enemy while skillfully directing one platoon in a successful counterattack on the key enemy positions. Having thus cleared a small area, he requested and directed the landing of two 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 [information taken from U.S. Army Center of Military History Medal of Honor Citations]. The veteran also served with Battery E, 2nd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division; 2nd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment; and as military secretary to the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps.

View Digital CollectionCollection Information

Type of Resource:
Video: Betacam SP [1 item] -- Oral history interview
Video: Betacam SP [1 item] -- Oral history interview
Manuscript: Biographical information [2 items] -- Typewritten document
Computer File: Hard Drive [0 item] -- Multiple types of electronic files
unknown interviewer
Thomas Wilkerson
Contributor Affiliation/Organization:
Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation (CMOH)
Collection #:
Barnum Jr., Harvey C.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Personal Narratives
United States. Marine Corps.
Cite as:
Harvey C. Barnum, Jr. Collection
(AFC/2001/001/89623), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress


Last Edit: 2019-11-06


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  October 26, 2011
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