LEWISTON — Members of the Lewiston High School Class of 1967 will gather at Veterans Memorial Park on Friday to dedicate a granite bench to veteran classmates “and all those who have served our country.”

A special salute will be given to classmate Thomas J. McMahon, who was killed in the Quang Tin Province during the Vietnam War in 1969. The ceremony will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the park at 2 Main St. and is open to the public.

McMahon was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while providing medical aid to a fellow soldier. It is the country’s highest military decoration and one of only three such medals ever awarded to Vietnam veterans in Maine.

Other Mainers awarded the Medal of Honor are U.S. Army Sgt. Brian Boker of Benton, who died in the Chau Doc Province in 1970, and U.S. Army Sgt. Donald Skidgel of Caribou, who died in the Binh Long Province in 1969.

The Thomas J. McMahon Elementary School on North Temple was named after McMahon in March 1971, two years after his death.

According to Paul Lavoie, who graduated with McMahon, organizers expect 150 to 200 people to attend Friday’s ceremony, including Gov. Paul LePage and his wife, Ann.


The governor is a member of the Class of 1967.

Mayor Bob Macdonald and former Mayor Paul Dionne, both of whom are veterans, also plan to attend.

According to the Medal of Honor citation for McMahon, he was serving as a Specialist 4th Class combat medic in the U.S. Army with Company A when he was killed.

When the lead elements of his company came under heavy fire from enemy positions, according to the citation, three soldiers fell and were seriously wounded. “Spec. McMahon, with complete disregard for his safety, left his covered position and ran through intense enemy fire to the side of one of the wounded, administered first aid and then carried him to safety.”

Then, according to the citation, “he returned through the hail of fire to the side of a second wounded man. Although painfully wounded by an exploding mortar round while returning the wounded man to a secure position, Sp4c. McMahon refused medical attention and heroically ran back through the heavy enemy fire toward his remaining wounded comrade. He fell mortally wounded before he could rescue the last man.”

According to the congressional citation, “McMahon’s undaunted concern for the welfare of his comrades at the cost of his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit and the U.S. Army.”

McMahon is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Lewiston.

In addition to the dedication, 50th reunion activities include a casual pre-reunion get-together at Rails, 103 Lincoln St., from 3 to 6 p.m.

On Saturday, Aug. 26, a reunion dinner will be held at Martindale Country Club in Auburn, with social hour starting at 5 p.m. and dinner served at 6:30 p.m. Music and dancing will run from 8 p.m. to midnight.

U.S. Army Spc. 4 Thomas McMahon was killed in action in Vietnam in 1969. Fellow classmates from Lewiston High School Class of 1967 will dedicate a bench in his honor Friday at Veterans Memorial Park in Lewiston.

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