Allen Wesley Courtney, Jr

First Lieutenant
United States Marine Corps
22 August 1945 - 17 May 1968
Houston, Texas
Panel 62E Line 001


Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Allen Wesley Courtney, Jr

03 Oct 2005


by his sister,
Julia Courtney Lambert
2840 S Circle Drive # 324, Colorado Springs, Co 80906

The Secretary of the Navy
takes pride in presenting the


posthumously to

Allen Wesley Courtney, Jr
First Lieutenant
United States Marine Corps

for service as set forth in the following


For heroic achievement in connection with operations against the enemy on the Republic of Vietnam while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company A, First Battalion, First Marines, First Division. On the afternoon of 15 December 1967, when an adjacent company became heavily engaged with a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force, Second Lieutenant COURTNEY quickly moved with his company to assist the beleaguered unit. Arriving in the area, he learned that the Marines had sustained several casualties and were temporarily pinned down by intense small arms and mortar fire from a hostile force entrenched in well camouflaged bunkers. Assigned the mission of deploying his platoon to provide suppressive fire and extract the casualties from the fire swept area, he displayed exceptional skill in maneuvering his men forward under hostile fire to attack the North Vietnamese positions. When the extremely heavy volume of enemy fire temporarily halted his platoon's progress, he exhibited outstanding courage and tactical leadership as he skillfully and aggressively maneuvered his men forward, controlling and directing their fire. When one of his machine guns malfunctioned, Second Lieutenant COURTNEY completely disregarded his own safety as he exposed himself to hostile fire to move to the location of the weapon and restore it to operation. Continually moving among his men to encourage them and direct their actions, he threw hand grenades and fired his light Antitank Assault Weapon, killing two North Vietnamese soldiers who were attempting to penetrate his perimeter. His brave actions and personal example instilled in his men a determined fighting spirit which enabled them to gain fire superiority and allowed the wounded to be evacuated. When air strikes were requested against hostile positions and one of his squads was delayed in moving from the area due to the difficulty in moving casualties, Second Lieutenant COURTNEY unhesitatingly moved through intense North Vietnamese fire to assist his squad in improvising a litter and carrying the injured Marines to safety. Due largely to his bold initiative and fearless action, he contributed materially to the defeat of the hostile force, resulting in thirty six enemy confirmed killed and 125 probable killed. Second Lieutenant COURTNEY'S superior leadership, steadfast courage and selfless devotion to duty at great personal risk inspired all who observed him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

For the Secretary,

V. H. Krulak
Lieutenant General U. S. Marine Corps
Commanding General
Fleet Marine Force, Pacific

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 17 May 1968 the 1/1 Marines were at Khe Sanh, providing blocking forces on Hills 558, 861, 861S and 950 and conducting combat patrols from those positions. The Battalion's Command Chronology contains the following entry for that day:
"A patrol member from Company "A" tripped a mine killing one USMC and wounding three others. Two of the WIAs were medevac."

1stLt Allen W. Courtney, Jr., was buried in Site 554, Section C, Houston National Cemetery, Houston, Texas. His father, a veteran of World War II, died eighteen months later on 06 Nov 1969 and was buried in Site 1011, Section D; when his mother passed away on 10 Mar 1991, she was laid to rest beside her husband.

In 1997 Allen's sister Julia Courtney Lambert opened the web site Faces on the Wall with a mission similar to that of The Virtual Wall. Health problems forced her to shut down the site for a few years, but she is now again operating Faces on the Wall at Faces on the Wall. We encourage you to visit Faces on the Wall.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his sister,
Julia Courtney Lambert
2840 S Circle Drive # 324, Colorado Springs, Co 80906

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 03 Oct 2005
Last updated 06/01/2006