First Lieutenant William Michael “Mike” Grammar, US Marine Corps, was born 10 March 1942 in Oklahoma City to Glidewell and Nemory Grammar. His father was an Army officer so Mike attended 13 different schools, including in Japan. Mike learned from his uncles, Dudley and Claude Grammar about helping others. His Mom’s parents, Charlie & Fannie Moses, were Greer County, Oklahoma, pioneers and taught him hard work and dedication to family and community. Mike was an excellent student, a Boy Scout, played the violin, was a voracious reader and lettered in football. Mike graduated from Harding High School in 1960, then onto The University of Oklahoma with a NROTC scholarship. The following year, he was appointed to the United States Naval Academy graduating in the top 25% in 1965. Mike was recruited for nuclear submarines by Admiral Rickover, but, as he told his family, he thought he could best serve his country as a United States Marine.
Grammar was assigned duty with USMC Advisory Unit, Team 4 in Quang Tri, South Vietnam, as an advisor to the South Vietnamese Army. On the night of 20 May 1967 the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, 1st ARVN Division command group was infiltrated and overrun by a large North Vietnamese force. During the confused action that followed, enemy fire hit one of Grammar’s assistants. Grammar tried to carry him to safety, but the wounded American refused, saying that he would stay behind and provide covering fire. Grammar, with the rest of his team, fought his way through the encircling enemy to the relative safety of a nearby village. There, an enemy search party discovered them. Grammar, trying to draw the communists away from his group of survivors, broke into the open field. His efforts failed and the enemy force captured him. He was killed before a relief force arrived.
For his action, First Lieutenant “Mike” Grammar was awarded posthumously the Silver Star Medal. His citation reads in part: “His outstanding courage and selfless efforts in behalf of others served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.”