Kenneth Worley was born in Farmington, New Mexico on April 4, 1948. On August 12, 1968 he died saving the lives of his fellow Marines by throwing himself on a grenade. The Medal of Honor was presented posthumously to Worley’s family. He is buried in Westminster Memorial Park.


Editor’s Note:  Voice of OC is honoring some of Orange County’s most notable veterans with profiles. We thank these people, other veterans and those serving today for their dedication and service to our country.


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Kenneth L. Worley

Lance Corporal USMC

2D BN, 7th Marines, 1 St Marine Division FMF Vietnam

For action on 12 August 1968, at Bo Ban, Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, L/Cpl Worley was awarded the medal of honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Machine Gunner with company L, 3D BN, 7th Marines in combat against enemy forces. After establishing a night ambush position in the house in the Bo Ban Hamlet of Quang Nam Province, security was set up and the remainder of the patrol members retired until their respective watch. During the early morning hours the Marines were abruptly awakened by the platoon leader’s warning that “grenades” had landed in the house. Fully realizing the inevitable result of his actions, L/Cpl Worley, in a valiant act of heroism, instantly threw himself upon the grenade nearest him and his comrades, absorbing with his body, the full and tremendous force of the explosion. Through his extraordinary initiative and inspiring valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved his comrades from serious injury and possible loss of life although five of his fellow Marines incurred minor wounds as the other grenades exploded. L/Cpl Worley’s gallant actions upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Orange County Walk of Honor by AMVETS

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More about Kenneth Worley:

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Notable Orange County Veterans:

1st Lieutenant Kenneth A. Walsh, Medal of Honor: World War II Fighter Ace

Captain Nelson M. Holderman, Medal of Honor:  World War I Hero

Captain William E. Barber, Medal of Honor: Fought at Iwo Jima

Corporal Tibor Rubin, Medal of Honor: Korean War – 1st Cavalry Division

Lieutenant (J. G.) Donald A. Gary, Medal of Honor: Officer on The USS Franklin in Japan

Master-At-Arms Second Class Michael A. Monsoor, Medal of Honor: Navy Seal Dies While Saving His Comrades

PFC Clarence B. Craft, Medal of Honor: Hastened the End of the Campaign on Okinawa

Sergeant Chris Carr, Medal of Honor: WWII Hero Battled in Italy

Specialist Fourth Class John P. Baca, Medal of Honor: Vietnam Vet Protects His Troops

Staff Sergeant Walter D. Ehlers, Medal of Honor: Stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day

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