The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*FOSTER, PAUL HELLSTROM
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S.
Marine Corps Reserve, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division. Place and date:
Near Con Thien, Republic of Vietnam, 14 October 1967. Entered service at: San
Francisco, Calif. Born: 17 April 1939, San Mateo, Calif.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty while serving as an artillery liaison operations chief with the 2d Battalion.
In the early morning hours the 2d Battalion was occupying a defensive position which
protected a bridge on the road leading from Con Thien to Cam Lo. Suddenly, the marines'
position came under a heavy volume of mortar and artillery fire, followed by an aggressive
enemy ground assault. In the ensuing engagement, the hostile force penetrated the
perimeter and brought a heavy concentration of small arms, automatic weapons, and rocket
fire to bear on the battalion command post. Although his position in the fire support
coordination center was dangerously exposed to enemy fire and he was wounded when an enemy
hand grenade exploded near his position, Sgt. Foster resolutely continued to direct
accurate mortar and artillery fire on the advancing North Vietnamese troops. As the attack
continued, a hand grenade landed in the midst of Sgt. Foster and his 5 companions.
Realizing the danger, he shouted a warning, threw his armored vest over the grenade, and
unhesitatingly placed his body over the armored vest. When the grenade exploded, Sgt.
Foster absorbed the entire blast with his body and was mortally wounded. His heroic
actions undoubtedly saved his comrades from further injury or possible death. Sgt.
Foster's courage, extraordinary heroism, and unfaltering devotion to duty reflected great
credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the U.S.
Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.