Wayne Maurice Caron was born in Middleboro, Massachusetts, on November 2, 1946, son of Aime Joseph and Lorraine Janet (Paradise) Caron. He graduated from Memorial High School, Middleboro, in June 1966 and on July 12, that year enlisted in the US Navy at Boston, Massachusetts. He subsequently advanced to Hospital Apprentice, September 23, 1966; Hospitalman, April 1, 1967 and Hospital Corpsman Third Class, January 16, 1968.
Following his enlistment in 1966, he had recruit training at the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois, until October of that year, then was a student at the Naval Hospital Corps School, Great Lakes. From January 1967 to April 1968, he served at the Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, after which he had instruction at the Field Medical Service School, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California. In July1968 he joined Headquarters and Service Company, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force and was serving as Platoon Corpsman with Company K, when he was killed in action on July 28, 1968. “For conspicuous gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on July 28, 1968. . .” during combat operations against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam. . .” he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The citation further states:
“While on a sweep through an open rice field in Quang Nam Province, Petty Officer Caron’s unit started receiving enemy small-arms fire. Upon seeing two Marine casualties fall, he immediately ran forward to render first aid, but found that they were dead. At this time, the platoon was taken under intense small-arms and automatic-weapons fire, sustaining additional casualties. As he moved to the aid of his wounded comrades, Petty Officer Caron was hit in the arm by enemy fire. Although knocked to the ground, he regained his feet and continued to the injured Marines. He rendered medical assistance to the first Marine he reached who was grievously wounded, and undoubtedly was instrumental in saving the man’s life. Petty Officer Caron then ran toward the second wounded Marine, but was again hit by enemy fire, this time in the leg. Nonetheless, he crawled the remaining distance and provided medical aid for this severely wounded man. (He) started to make his way to yet another injured comrade, when he was again struck by enemy small-arms fire. Courageously and with unbelievable determination, (he) continued his attempt to reach the third Marine until he himself was killed by an enemy rocket round. His inspiring valor, steadfast determination, and selfless dedication in the face of extreme danger, sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in enemy action.
In addition to the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart Medal, he had the Combat Action Ribbon; the National Defense Service Medal; and the Vietnam Service Medal. He also had the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, the Vietnamese Military Merit Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.