LTCOL HOWARD VINCENT LEE, USMC(RET)
LtCol Howard Vincent Lee, USMC (Ret) passed away 21 March 2019.
Howard Lee was born on August 1, 1933, in New York City. He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York in 1951, and from Pace College with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, on June 19, 1955. While in his senior year at college, he enlisted as a member of the Platoon Leaders Class in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
In September 1955, he entered the 14th Officer Candidates’ Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, and upon completing the course the following December, was commissioned a Marine Corps Reserve second lieutenant. Lieutenant Lee completed The Basic School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, in July 1956 and the Marine Corps Supply School, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, that September.
Upon completion of these courses, he was transferred to the Marine Corps Supply Activity, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for duty as Field Inspection Officer, Field Inspection Section, and later, Officer in Charge, Audit Section. He was promoted to first lieutenant in June 1957, and integrated into the Regular Marine Corps in January 1958.
Detached from the Supply Activity in September 1958, he was ordered to the West Coast, and served briefly as Troop Handler, 1st Replacement Battalion, Staging Regiment, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, then was assigned duty as a platoon commander with Company F, 2nd Battalion 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, serving in this capacity until June 1959.
First Lieutenant Lee next served as the Battalion S-4 Officer with H&S Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division, San Francisco, California. In February 1960, he was assigned duty as Guard Officer at the Marine Barracks, U.S. Naval Propellant Plant, Indian Head, Maryland.
After his promotion to captain on July 1, 1961, he was assigned duties as Platoon Commander and, later, Instructor, The Basic School, Marine Corps Schools in Quantico, where he remained until June 1964.
From July 1964 until February 1966, Capt Lee was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, serving first as Commanding Officer of Company A, 1st Battalion, then as Battalion S-3 Officer with H&S Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division. During the latter period, he served aboard the USS La Salle (LPD-3), and in the Dominican Republic.
Vietnam War — 1st tour
Ordered to the Republic of Vietnam in April 1966, Capt Lee served as Commanding Officer of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. He received the Bronze Star with Combat “V” for heroic action on June 26, 1966 – June 27, 1966. Then, on August 8 – 9, 1966, he distinguished himself above and beyond the call of duty in the vicinity of Quang Tri, for which he received the Medal of Honor. Wounded in that action, Capt Lee was evacuated to the U.S. Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland. In November 1966, he returned to duty at Headquarters, Marine Corps and assigned duty as the TO/MOS Coordinator and, later, the Assistant FMF Readiness Officer in the Operation Section, G-4 Division. He was promoted to Major (United States) in July 1966.
On October 25, 1967, Major Lee was presented the Medal of Honor by President Lyndon Johnson in a ceremony at the White House.
Vietnam War — 2nd tour
Following this assignment, Maj Lee completed the Command and Staff College, Quantico, Virginia, in June 1970, then returned to the Republic of Vietnam for his second tour of duty. For his service as Executive Officer, Provisional Headquarters and Service Company and with the 2nd Combined Action Group, III Marine Amphibious Force, he earned a Gold Star in lieu of a second Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V.”
He was promoted in July 1972 to lieutenant colonel and retired in 1975 from the Marine Corps.
Memorial and burial services are pending.