Strange, John B.

John B. Strange was born on 1 April 1944 and entered the USMC from PISC in South Carolina in 1963. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1967. In 1969, LT Strange was assigned to Company G, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Rein.), FMF in the Republic of Vietnam. On 11 March 1969, during Operation PURPLE MARTIN, First Lieutenant Strange mustered a reaction force to assist another element of the company which had become heavily engaged with a large North Vietnamese Army force employing mortars, automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades near Fire Support Base NEVILLE. Proceeding to the location of contact, he capably organized a forward defense and immediately commenced evacuating the casualties. Observing a seriously wounded Marine lying in an unprotected area forward of the friendly lines, he unhesitantly raced across the fire-swept terrain to the man's side, and seemly oblivious to the hostile rounds directed at him, carried his companion back to a covered location. Obtaining a radio, he then skillfully coordinated and controlled the activities of adjacent Marine elements against the enemy. Noting that the beleaugered platoon had sustained the loss of its leadership personnel, he fearlessly exposed himself to the intense enemy fire and, shouting words of encouragement to the men, restored their confidence and capability as an aggressive fighting unit. The following morning, he initiated a spirited assault against the well-entrenched enemy soldiers, but, meeting the fanatical resistance and unwilling to risk excessive Marine casualties, withdrew to his original position. Devising an alternate plan of attack, he again commenced an assault upon the hostile North Vietnamese units and personally eliminated an automatic wepons position as he exhorted his men to greater efforts, leading them as they overran the objective. For his gallantry in action on this date, First Lieutenant Strange was awarded the nation's third-highest decoration for valor, the Silver Star Medal. Lieutenant Colonel Strange retired from the USMC in 1992 and has worked for Tec-Masters, Inc in the Huntsville area since.