Thomas Patrick Noonan, Jr

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
18 November 1943 - 05 February 1969
Maspeth, New York
Panel 33W Line 067

Medal of Honor

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Thomas Patrick Noonan, Jr

Semper Fi ! Friend

The MOH says it all...
When things were roughest - YOU stood tall!
Your courage came as no surprise,
When a boy - I saw it with my eyes.
The USMC got "One Good Man"
When it received "Woodside's Tarzan".
Though you possessed great brawn and brain,
You couldn't bear to hear a "grunt" in pain.
So in fond memory, you do remain.

20 Dec 2004

You are gone from our presence, but never forgotten. You would be amazed that so many remember you, and that our childhood playground is now named for you. Till we meet again - Semper Fi !

Jack Lincks
E-mail address is not available.

01 Jun 2005

Tommy, we were together on Co Ka Leuye mountain, "Hill 1175". It was Feb 5th, a day that is forever seared into my mind. Tommy, your selfless act of courage was, well, inspiring to Jeff Fee, Tom "Charlie" Weaver, Frank "Chief" Goins, Barry Baum, Gundel, Lee Pully, all of us. We carried you and 16 other Marines for 3 of the longest, most terrible days when we all learned first-hand what "Semper Fi" means and the absolute true meaning of "Brotherhood". On Feb 7th I came down with cerebral malaria and had fallen into a coma with a 106.8 temp. I was medevaced on one of the two CH-46s that landed on rocks in the river to take out the dead and wounded. I came to as we were turning and banking wildly to avoid the triple "A" gunfire through the A Shau Valley. When I opened my eyes, I saw my brothers' bodies piled in a heap on the deck of the chopper.

For several moments I thought that I too was dead. I was proud to be in such fine company. I slipped back into unconsciousnes and when I came to again, we were landing on the USS REPOSE (AH-16) hospital ship. It was then when I suddenly realized that I was sole survivor on this medevac. I feel so sad that you guys were killed. "Thank you" can never be enough for your selfless acts of bravery. I remember you each and every day.

Lord, Thanks For Marines,
Pfc Randy "Hippie" Ware
Golf Co. 2/9 3rd MarDiv

21 Nov 2005

Please pass the word.

Next year's (2006) Remembrance Service, conducted by the North Shore Queens Detachment of the Marine Corps League, will take place on 4 February 2006. Graveside Service, muster at Calvary Cemetery Gate, Greenpoint Avenue and Gale Avenue at 1000.

Indoor Service will take place at 1300, location to be announced.

For information contact,
Tom Maher

23 Sep 2006

I am a buddy of Tommy Noonan. I met him in Fort Hamilton, NY where we got inducted on the same day. We went to Parris Island together along with a group of other New Yorkers and on the trip we all formed an inseperable bond that was only reinforced by Marine Corps training. We went through training together and spent much of our 30 day leave together. At Camp Pendleton, when we got our orders, we were put on different flights. That was the last time I saw him. We partied hard and had great times.

He was a very loyal friend who stood with you no matter what. In converations he said he was going to Vietnam for the ultimate experience and did not expect to make it home.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who knew him.

From a Marine Corps buddy,
Andy Lavigne

05 Feb 2007

You were killed 38 years ago today. I've been to your grave, read about you, and know some people who knew you ... that's it. It would have been an honor to serve with you. Semper Fi, buddy, you're not forgotten.

From the friend of a friend,
Tom Mundy
Broad Channel, Queens, New York

27 Feb 2007

Tommy, through these long years I still miss you. I was so young when you left, I feel I hardly got to know you. Gratefully I met many people who knew you, and helped fill in some of the spaces. Through living my life I held you up as an example and tried to conduct my business as I thought you would. I wished you were around to straighten me out when I was a knuckleheaded teenager and to share in the joys and successes of my life as I grew into manhood. I wish you would have danced at my wedding, and have been one of my son's Godfathers just as you are my Godfather.

I am grateful you did what you did even though it cost you your life. I understand being the man you were you didn't have a choice. Failure to act would have been a fate worse than death. Thanks for looking after me all these years, I know you've been watching.

When people say "Noonan ... are you related to Tommy Noonan?" I proudly say "Yeah, he's my Big Brother!"

Tommy, I'll see you on the other side, with all my love your little brother Danny

28 May 2007

Tommy, I knew you from Hunter College. I will always remember you and thank you for your ultimate sacrifice in this useless war. You were destined for greatness and I will always remember you as a born leader.

Elaine Ward Berer

Notes from The Virtual Wall

The President of the United States
in the name of the Congress of the United States
takes pride in presenting the



Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps

for service as set forth in the following


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a fire team leader with Company G, in operations against the enemy in Quang Tri Province. Company G was directed to move from a position which they had been holding southeast of the Vandergrift Combat Base to an alternate location. As the Marines commenced a slow and difficult descent down the side of the hill made extremely slippery by the heavy rains, the leading element came under a heavy fire from a North Vietnamese Army unit occupying well concealed positions in the rocky terrain. Four men were wounded, and repeated attempts to recover them failed because of the intense hostile fire. L/Cpl. Noonan moved from his position of relative security and, maneuvering down the treacherous slope to a location near the injured men, took cover behind some rocks. Shouting words of encouragement to the wounded men to restore their confidence, he dashed across the hazardous terrain and commenced dragging the most seriously wounded man away from the fire-swept area. Although wounded and knocked to the ground by an enemy round, L/Cpl. Noonan recovered rapidly and resumed dragging the man toward the marginal security of a rock. He was, however, mortally wounded before he could reach his destination. His heroic actions inspired his fellow Marines to such aggressiveness that they initiated a spirited assault which forced the enemy soldiers to withdraw. L/Cpl. Noonan's indomitable courage, inspiring initiative, 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.

Golf 2/9 Marines lost five men on 05 Feb 1969 while operating on Hill 1175 near the Vandergrift Combat Base, A Shau Valley, under the circumstances outlined above:

  • HM2 Bruce B. Bernstein, Los Angeles, CA (Corpsman, H&S with G/2/9)
  • LCpl Gary R. Haley, Marquette, MI
  • LCpl Thomas P. Noonan, Maspeth, NY (Medal of Honor)
  • Pfc Kenneth E. Jackson, Beckley, WV (Silver Star)
  • Pfc Robert W. McCluskey, Lowell, MA

Thomas P. Noonan, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during February 1969 in Vietnam, was born 18 November 1943, in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, New York, in June 1961. He attended Hunter College in the Bronx, New York, graduating with a B.A. Degree in Physical Education in June 1966.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in Brooklyn, New York, 26 December 1967 and was subsequently discharged to enlist in the Regular Marine Corps on 31 January 1968.

Private Noonan completed recruit training with the 3d Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, in April 1968, and was promoted to private first class, 1 April 1968.

Transferred to the Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he underwent individual combat training with the 1st Battalion, 1st Infantry Training Regiment.

Ordered to the Republic of Vietnam in July 1968, he was assigned duty as mortar man with H&S Company, 2d Battalion, 27th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF. In August, he was reassigned to the 3d Marine Division where he saw combat as a rifleman, M-79 Man with Company G, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines. He was promoted to lance corporal, 1 January 1969. He was killed in action on 5 February 1969, while participating in action against the enemy south of Vandegrift Combat Base in Quang Tri Province.

A complete list of his medals and decorations includes: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Lance Corporal Noonan was survived by his parents, Mrs. and Mrs. Thomas Noonan of Queens, New York, three sisters and one brother.

Text and top photo from
Who's Who in Marine Corps History

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 20 Dec 2004
Last updated 08/10/2009