Canavan, Martin Joseph, Jr., SSG

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
11 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1968-1969, 11B10, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry (Airmobile)/A Company
Service Years
1967 - 1969

Staff Sergeant

Two Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Canavan, Martin Joseph, Jr., SSG.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Mar 29, 1969
Hostile, Died
Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
Tay Ninh (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Mountain View Memorial Park - Barstow, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
28W 078

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Unit Assignments
2nd Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division/2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry (Airmobile)
  1968-1969, 11B10, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry (Airmobile)/A Company
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
The assault into LZ Jess cost Alpha 2/5 eight men, two of whom received posthumous awards of the Distinguished Service Cross:

  • SSG Martin J. Canavan, Barstow, CA (Dist Svc Cross)

  • CPL Kenneth J. Brenner, Hope, KS (Dist Svc Cross) (Medic, HHC w/ A/2/5)

  • SP4 Thomas L. Cottrell, Milwaukee, WI

  • SP4 Richard E. Griego, Santa Fe, NM

  • CPL Robert D. Lauber, Monica, IL

  • CPL James M. McKinley, Mc David, FL (Medic, HHC w/ A/2/5)

  • SP4 Charles R. Prchal, Sound Beach, NY

  • PFC Ronald R. Meyer, Seattle, WA

ietnam Wall Panel coords 28W 078
The President of the United States
takes pride in presenting the


posthumously to

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States

for service as set forth in the following


For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Staff Sergeant Canavan distinguished himself by exceptional valorous actions on 29 March 1969 while leading a platoon involved in a mission in enemy dominated terrain in Tay Ninh Province. Having just made a combat assault into the area, Sergeant Canavan's company set up a defensive perimeter prior to constructing a landing zone. As the first supply helicopters approached the site, the enemy opened fire on the company with small arms, automatic weapons and rockets. After the initial barrage, Sergeant Canavan was placed in charge of the third platoon with instructions to assist the first and second platoons, who had received the brunt of the attack. He effectively emplaced his men to lay down protective fire under which the two threatened platoons could withdraw to safety. He then personally led a squad to remove the injured men in the killing zone. When increased bombardment forced his squad to pull back, he called in air strikes and artillery to silence the enemy. After organizing and leading an assault on the wood line, where the foe lay entrenched, he seized the opportunity offered by the advance to evacuate the wounded and dead who were stranded after the first attack. When the bodies had been removed and the wounded given emergency treatment, Sergeant Canavan pulled his troops back to avoid further casualties. In a last minute effort to reach another wounded comrade pinned down in the open by enemy fire Sergeant Canavan was struck down by intense enemy fire. Staff Sergeant Canavan's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Copyright Inc 2003-2011