Wayne Maurice Caron (November 2, 1946 – July 28, 1968) was a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Vietnam War.
Caron joined the Navy from Boston, Massachusetts in July 1966, and by July 28, 1968 was a hospital corpsman third class (E-4) serving as a Hospital Corpsman attached to the Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment,(Kilo 3/7) 1st Marine Division (Reinforced), FMF. During a firefight on that day, in Quảng Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, Caron was repeatedly wounded while he moved between fallen Marines, rendering aid to each, but continued his rounds until being killed by enemy fire.
Caron, aged 21 at his death, was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington County, Virginia.
In 1970, a plaque at the Chelsea Naval Hospital was placed in his honor.
On October 1, 1977, the USS Caron, a Spruance-class destroyer, was commissioned by the United States Navy. The ship was named in honor of Wayne Caron.
Medal of Honor citation
Hospital Corpsman Caron's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as platoon corpsman with Company K, during combat operations against enemy forces. While on a sweep through an open rice field HM3 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, HM3 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. HM3 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. HM3 Caron 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, HM3 Caron continued his attempt to reach the third Marine until he 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 U.S. Naval Service.