Terrence C. Graves Monument

Terrence C. Graves Monument (HM16MJ)

Location: Groton, NY 13073 Tompkins County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 35.43', W 76° 22.068'

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Vietnam War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

(main center panel) 2d Lt. USMC-Posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for action in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam-February 16, 1968.

(left panel) Terrence C. Graves, or "Terry" as his friends and family knew him, entered the world on July 6, 1945 in Corpus Christi, Texas where his father served as a naval flight instructor during World War II. He was the first of four children to be born to parents Marjorie and Leslie Graves and was followed by brother Eric and sisters Debbie and Kathy who completed the closely knit household, although sister Debbie passed away at an early age. After completing his military service, Leslie moved the family to Central New York where he began a career in teaching and public school administration.

Terry had already begun to demonstrate his exceptional academic, athletic and leadership qualities by the time he entered high school. In Edmeston, New York, where he spent most of his public school years. Terry was consistent honor student who served as president of both the Student Council and the Honor Society. His academic achievements were easily matched by his athletic prowess which earned him varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball, and track while he was still a freshman. Baseball was always his favorite sport though, as demonstrated by his .676 batting average in his senior year. His passion for the game was evident every time he took the field, and he was always recognized for his good sportsmanship. In 1963, during his senior year, he was called by the Cincinnati Reds organization for tryout camp, Terry had other plans. He as headed for Miami University of Ohio with a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) scholarship.

That same year, the Graves family moved to Groton, New York where Leslie had accepted the position of School District Superintendent. For the next four years, Terry attended college in Ohio and spent his holidays and summer vacations in Groton where he made many close friends. Baseball continued to be an integral part of his life, and he lettered for three years as a talented second baseman on some outstanding Miami baseball teams. In the summers, Terry enthusiastically coached many Groton Little Leaguers, passing on his love for the game.Terry's personal qualities and leadership abilities were also recognized by the instructors and the Commandant of the NROTC program which led to his eventual appointment as Battalion Commander. Upon his graduation in May of 1967, Terry chose to be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and, within six months, was ordered to South Vietnam for service with the 3rd Recon Battalion of the 3rd Marine Division.

On February 16, 1968, two months after his arrival in South Vietnam, Terry heroically gave his life to save the wounded members of his team and, in so doing, earned his nation's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor.

(right panel) The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor posthumously to SECOND LIEUTENANT TERRENCE C. GRAVES, 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 as a platoon commander with the 3d Force Reconnaissance Company. While on a long-range reconnaissance mission, 2d Lt. Graves' 8-man patrol observed 7 enemy soldiers approaching their position. Reacting instantly, he deployed his men and directed their fire on the approaching enemy. After the fire had ceased, he and 2 patrol members commenced a search of the area, and suddenly came under a heavy volume of hostile small arms and automatic weapons fire from a numerically superior enemy force. When 1 of his men was hit by the enemy fire, 2d Lt. Graves moved through the fire-swept area to his radio and, while directing suppressive fire from his men, requested air support and adjusted a heavy volume of artillery and helicopter gunship fire upon the enemy. After attending the wounded, 2d Lt. Graves, accompanied by another marine, moved from his relatively safe position to confirm the results of the earlier engagement. Observing that several of the enemy were still alive, he launched a determined assault, eliminating the remaining enemy troops. He then began moving the patrol to a landing zone for extraction, when the unit again came under intense fire which wounded 2 more marines and 2d Lt. Graves. Refusing medical attention, he once more adjusted air strikes and artillery fire upon the enemy while directing the fire of his men. He led his men to a new landing site into which he skillfully guided the incoming aircraft and boarded his men while remaining exposed to the hostile fire. Realizing that 1 of the wounded had not em barked, he directed the aircraft to depart and, along with another marine, moved to the side of the casualty. Confronted with a shortage of ammunition, 2d Lt. Graves utilized supporting arms and directed fire until a second helicopter arrived. At this point, the volume of enemy fire intensified, hitting the helicopter and causing it to crash shortly after liftoff. All aboard were killed. 2d Lt. Graves' outstanding courage, superb leadership and indomitable fighting spirit throughout the day were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Richard Nixon, President of the United States

HM NumberHM16MJ
Series This marker is part of the Medal of Honor Recipients series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 8:59am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 387774 N 4716248
Decimal Degrees42.59050000, -76.36780000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 35.43', W 76° 22.068'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 35' 25.80" N, 76° 22' 4.08" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)607
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 107-111 Main St, Groton NY 13073, US
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