WILSON, ALFRED MAC
Rank / Branch:
3RD MARINE DIVISION
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE, EXPLOSIVE D
Awards & Decorations:
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ALFRED MAC WILSON, CORPORAL, U.S. MARINE CORP, ODESSA, ECTOR COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIIONS
CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR, Purple Heart with Gold Star, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Alfred Mac Wilson was born in Olney, Illinois, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred V. Wilson. He had a older sister, Sue who was born three years earlier. His family moved to Odessa when he was two years old. He preferred his middle name of "Mac" and that was how he was known. He attended Odessa schools, attended Burleson Elementary, Crockett Junior High and Odessa High School. His sister Sue, states that when Mac was growing up, he was always playing Army with the neighborhood kids. She stated they had every vacant lot dug up for fox holes. While at Odessa High School, he played football and ran track and was in Distributive Education. He was well liked and was a 1967 graduate of Odessa High School.
He enlisted in the Marine Corp in the fall of 1967 on the buddy plan with three other Odessans. He completed boot camp at the Marine Corp Recruit Depot at San Diego, California and ITR at Camp Pentleton, California.
He began his tour in Vietnam on July 21, 1968 and served as a riflemen with Company M, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines. On March 3, 1969, in Quang Tri Province, his unit was a part of Operation Dewey Canyon. Whe his unit was ambushed, PFC Wilson was the rear squad's leader. He set up a fire base and blocking force. When his machine gunner and assistant were wounded, he crossed open terrain to retrieve the gun. As he and a companion reached the gun, an enemy soldier threw a grenade. Wilson unhesitatingly fell on the grenade, taking full force of its explosion. His heroic efforts inspired his comrades as they aggressively attacked and defeated the enemy.
Mac in Vietnam 1968
Mac was buried with full military honors at the Garden of Prayer Section of Sunset Memorial Garden's Cemetery in Odessa. He received a posthumous promotion to Corporal. Three months to the date of his death, his mother passed away suddenly with a heart attack. His father passed away in 1996. Fifty feet and one row south rests another Medal of Honor winner, SSG Marvin Rex Young.
In October 2008, the Main Downtown Post Office in Odessa, Texas located at 201 North Texas Street was named as the Corporal Alfred Mac Wilson Post Office Building. In March 2015, Mac's sister Sue passed away and her cremains are buried at the foot of Mac's final resting place.
CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR CITATION
Rank and organization:
Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company M, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division.
Place and date:
Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 3 March 1969.
Entered service at: Abilene, Texas
Born: 3 January 1948, Olney, Ill.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifleman with Company M in action against hostile forces. While returning from a reconnaissance-in-force mission in the vicinity of Fire Support Base Cunningham, the 1st Platoon of Company M came under intense automatic weapons fire and a grenade attack from a well concealed enemy force. As the center of the column was pinned down, the leading squad moved to outflank the enemy. Pfc. Wilson, acting as squad leader of the rear squad, skillfully maneuvered his men to form a base of fire and act as a blocking force. In the ensuing fire fight, both his machine gunner and assistant machine gunner were seriously wounded and unable to operate their weapons. Realizing the urgent need to bring the weapon into operation again, Pfc. Wilson, followed by another marine and with complete disregard for his safety, fearlessly dashed across the fire swept terrain to recover the weapon. As they reached the machinegun, an enemy soldier stepped from behind a tree and threw a grenade toward the 2 marines. Observing the grenade fall between himself and the other marine, Pfc. Wilson, fully realizing the inevitable result of his actions, shouted to his companion and unhesitating threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the full force of the explosion with his own body. His heroic actions inspired his platoon members to maximum effort as they aggressively attacked and defeated the enemy. Pfc. Wilson's indomitable courage, inspiring valor and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
On August 20, 2015, Hood Junior High School in Odessa, Texas was renamed the Wilson and Young Medal of Honor Middle School in honor of Marvin Rex Young and Alfred Mac Wilson. About 1,000 people were in attendance.
Wilson and Young Medal of honor Middle School, Odessa, Texas
In March 2013 in conjunction with National Medal of Honor Day, Sunset Memorial Garden's Cemetery began to fly the Medal of Honor Flags over the final resting place of Corporal Alfed Mac Wilson and SSG Marving Rex Young.