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Associated Press
June 3, 2004



Medal of Honor winner to be buried in Tangipahoa Parish


The Associated Press
6/3/2004, 3:51 p.m. CT

PONCHATOULA, La. (AP) Funeral services are scheduled for Monday for Raymond Michael Clausen Jr., a U.S. Marine who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery in the Vietnam War.

Clausen, 56, died of liver failure Sunday at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

President Nixon cited Clausen for his participation in a 1970 helicopter rescue mission to rescue a Marine platoon pinned down by enemy fire in a mine field.

"With 11 Marines wounded, one dead and the remaining eight Marines holding their positions for fear of detonating other mines, Pfc. Clausen quickly leaped from the helicopter and, in the face of enemy fire, moved across the extremely hazardous, mine laden area to assist in carrying casualties to the waiting helicopter," the citation read.

The citation said Clausen left the helicopter six times.

"Only when he was certain that all Marines were safely aboard did (Clausen) signal the pilot to lift the helicopter," the citation said.

Clausen was a New Orleans native who graduated from Hammond High School and enlisted in the Marine Reserves in 1966, then shifted to the Marine Corps the same year. He trained as a jet helicopter mechanic.

He received several other medals and awards, including the Combat Action Ribbon, the Purple Heart, the Silver Star and Bronze Star.

Survivors include his wife, Lois, of Ponchatoula; two brothers and a sister.

Visitation will be Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at Harry McKneely & Son Funeral Home, Ponchatoula. The funeral will be Monday at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Ponchatoula.



2004, by Associated Press


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