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 Matthew Gene Axelson

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Matthew Gene Axelson

  • Birth 25 Jun 1976 Cupertino, Santa Clara County, California, USA
  • Death 28 Jun 2005 Afghanistan
  • Burial Chico, Butte County, California, USA
  • Plot Section 1 Lot 206 A Lot 1
  • Memorial ID 11344315

Navy Sonar Technician Surface 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew G. Axelson, 29, of Cupertino, Calif., was assigned to SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; killed while conducting counter-terrorism operations in the Kunar province, Afghanistan. Coalition forces located his remains while conducting a combat search-and-rescue operation July 10 in the Kunar province. His whereabouts had been unknown since June 28. Petty Officer 2nd Class Axelson joined the Navy in 2000 and underwent extensive training before being sent to Hawaii. He was deployed to Afghanistan in March. Matt earned a degree in political science from California State University-Chico. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the Purple Heart and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. His citation for the Navy Cross reads; "For extraordinary heroism in actions against the enemy while serving in a four-man Special Reconnaissance element with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE, Naval Special Warfare Task unit, Afghanistan from 27 to 28 June 2005. Petty Officer Axelson demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Konar Province, Afghanistan. Operating in the middle of an enemy-controlled area, in extremely rugged terrain, his Special Reconnaissance element was tasked with locating a high-level Anti-Coalition Militia leader, in support of a follow-on direct action mission to disrupt enemy activity. On 28 June 2005, the element was spotted by Anti-Coalition Militia sympathizers, who immediately revealed their position to the militia fighters. As a result, the element directly encountered the enemy. Demonstrating exceptional resolve and fully understanding the gravity of the situation, Petty Officer Axelson's element bravely engaged the militia, who held both a numerical and positional advantage. The ensuing firefight resulted in numerous enemy personnel killed, with several of the Navy members suffering casualties. Ignoring his injuries and demonstrating exceptional composure, Petty Officer Axelson advised the teammate closest to him to escape while he provided cover fire. With total disregard for his own life and thinking only of his teammate's survival, he continued to attack the enemy, eliminating additional militia fighters, until he was mortally wounded by enemy fire. A champion of freedom, Petty Officer Axelson will be remembered for his self-sacrificing actions in the continuing Global War on Terrorism. By his undaunted courage, fortitude under fire, and unwavering dedication to duty, Petty Officer Axelson reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for the cause of freedom." He is survived by his wife, Cindy; father, Cordell; mother, Donna; and brother Jeff. He was 29.
Matthew was assigned to SEAL, Delivery Vehicle Team One, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.


  • Created by: Elizabeth Reed
  • Added: 12 Jul 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11344315
  • Marsha
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Matthew Gene Axelson (25 Jun 1976–28 Jun 2005), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11344315, citing Glen Oaks Memorial Park, Chico, Butte County, California, USA ; Maintained by Elizabeth Reed (contributor 46561848) .