Leo Vernon Beaulieu was born on September 2, 1944 to parents John and Christine Beaulieu.
Leo grew up in the rural Lengby, Minnesota area and attended Antel country school and Fosston Elementary schools.
Leo graduated from Fosston High School in 1963 and joined the US Marine Corps in July 1965.
After basic training, Leo was assigned, as a Machine Gunner, to Company E, 5th Marine Division in Chu Lai, Vietnam.
Leo Vernon Beaulieu was killed on May 16, 1966 in Vietnam.
Leo Vernon Beaulieu was awarded the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart.
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Leo Vernon Beaulieu (2162804), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as a machine gunner serving with Company E, Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in action near Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam, on 16 May 1966.
Private Beaulieu’s squad was engaged in search and destroy operations against Communist insurgent forces when it was ambushed by a Viet Cong force of sixty men. Heavy machine gun and automatic rifle fire from three sides pinned down the squad in an area offering little or no protection.
Private Beaulieu was hit in the first volley of fire and knocked away from his machine gun. Although critically wounded in the chest, he crawled back to his gun and put it into action, delivering heavy, accurate fire on the enemy. He refused to take advantage of the limited cover available in order to bring punishing fire on the ambushing force, and as a result he was hit a second time as the machine gun malfunctioned. Still disregarding his own personal safety, he worked desperately to clear the weapon, and while doing so he received a third wound, which was fatal.
Through his extraordinary initiative and inspiring valor in the face of almost certain death, he kept the enemy at a distance until reinforcements arrived, and enabled most of the members of his squad to be rescued. Private Beaulieu’s calm and courageous actions under hostile fire upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.
Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals
He is buried in St. Agnes Catholic Cemetery, rural Lengby, Minnesota.
Plot: 5 Side: South Row from Bottom: 4
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