2ID/RUCD Medal of Honor Recipients

JOHN HENRY BALCH

JOHN HENRY BALCH

Rank and organization: Pharmacist’s Mate First Class, U.S. Navy.
Birth: 2 January 1896, Edgerton, Kansas
Entered service at: Kansas City, MO
Place and date: Vierzy, France, and Somme-Py, France, 19 July and 5 October 1918

Citation: For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, with the 6th Regiment, U.S. Marines, in action at Vierzy, on 19 July 1918. Balch unhesitatingly and fearlessly exposed himself to terrific machinegun and high-explosive fire to succor the wounded as they fell in the attack, leaving his dressing station voluntarily and keeping up the work all day and late into the night unceasingly for 16 hours. Also in the action at Somme-Py on 5 October 1918, he exhibited exceptional bravery in establishing an advanced dressing station under heavy shellfire.

FRANK J. BART

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company C, 9th Infantry, 2d Division.
Place and date: Near Medeah Ferme, France, 3 October 1918.
Entered service at: Newark, N.J.
Birth:New York, N.Y.
G.O. No.: 16, W.D., 1919.

Citation: PVT Bart, being on duty as a company runner, when the advance was held up by machinegun fire voluntarily picked up an automatic rifle, ran out ahead of the line, and silenced a hostile machinegun nest, killing the German gunners. The advance then continued, and when it was again hindered shortly afterward by another machinegun nest this courageous soldier repeated his bold exploit by putting the second machinegun out of action.

JOEL THOMPSON BOONE

JOEL THOMPSON BOONE

Rank and organization: Lieutenant (Medical Corps), U.S. Navy.
Birth: 2 August 1889, St. Clair, PA
Appointed from: St. Clair, PA
Place and date: Vicinity Vierzy, France, 19 July 1918

Citation: For extraordinary heroism, conspicuous gallantry, and intrepidity while serving with the 6th Regiment, U.S. Marines, in actual conflict with the enemy. With absolute disregard for personal safety, ever conscious and mindful of the suffering fallen, Surgeon Boone, leaving the shelter of a ravine, went forward onto the open field where there was no protection and despite the extreme enemy fire of all calibers, through a heavy mist of gas, applied dressings and first aid to wounded marines. This occurred southeast of Vierzy, near the cemetery, and on the road south from that town. When the dressings and supplies had been exhausted, he went through a heavy barrage of large-caliber shells, both high explosive and gas, to replenish these supplies, returning quickly with a sidecar load, and administered them in saving the lives of the wounded. A second trip, under the same conditions and for the same purpose, was made by Surgeon Boone later that day.

TONY K. BURRIS

TONY K. BURRIS

Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, Company L, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
Place and date: vicinity of Mundung-ni, Korea 8 and 9 October 1951.
Entered service at: Blanchard, Okla.
Birth: Blanchard, Okla.
G.O. No.: 84, 5 September 1952.

Citation: SFC Burris, a member of Company L, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty. On 8 October, when his company encountered intense fire from an entrenched hostile force, SFC Burris charged forward alone, throwing grenades into the position and destroying approximately 15 of the enemy. On the following day, spearheading a renewed assault on enemy positions on the next ridge, he was wounded by machine gun fire but continued the assault, reaching the crest of the ridge ahead of his unit and sustaining a second wound. Calling for a 57mm. recoilless rifle team, he deliberately exposed himself to draw hostile fire and reveal the enemy position. The enemy machine gun emplacement was destroyed. The company then moved forward and prepared to assault other positions on the ridge line. SFC Burris, refusing evacuation and submitting only to emergency treatment, joined the unit in its renewed attack but fire from hostile emplacement halted the advance. SFC Burris rose to his feet, charged forward and destroyed the first emplacement with its heavy machine gun and crew of 6 men. Moving out to the next emplacement, and throwing his last grenade which destroyed this position, he fell mortally wounded by enemy fire. Inspired by his consummate gallantry, his comrades renewed a spirited assault which overran enemy positions and secured Hill 605, a strategic position in the battle for "Heartbreak Ridge," SFC Burris' indomitable fighting spirit, outstanding heroism, and gallant self-sacrifice reflect the highest glory upon himself, the Infantry and the U.S. Army.

ALVIN P. CAREY

ALVIN P. CAREY

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 38th Infantry, 2-t Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Plougastel, Brittany, France, 23 August 1944.
Entered service at: Laughlinstown, Pa.
Birth: 16 August 1916, Lycippus, Pa.
G.O. No.: 37, 11 May 1945.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, on 23 August 1944. SSG Carey, leader of a machinegun section, was advancing with his company in the attack on the strongly held enemy hill 154, near Plougastel, Brittany, France. The advance was held up when the attacking units were pinned down by intense enemy machinegun fire from a pillbox 200 yards up the hill. From his position covering the right flank, SSG Carey displaced his guns to an advanced position and then, upon his own initiative, armed himself with as many hand grenades as he could carry and without regard for his personal safety started alone up the hill toward the pillbox. Crawling forward under its withering fire, he proceeded 150 yards when he met a German rifleman whom he killed with his carbine. Continuing his steady forward movement until he reached grenade-throwing distance, he hurled his grenades at the pillbox opening in the face of intense enemy fire which wounded him mortally. Undaunted, he gathered his strength and continued his grenade attack until one entered and exploded within the pillbox, killing the occupants and putting their guns out of action. Inspired by SSG Carey's heroic act, the riflemen quickly occupied the position and overpowered the remaining enemy resistance in the vicinity.

RICHARD ELLER COWAN

RICHARD ELLER COWAN

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company M, 23d Infantry, 2d Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Krinkelter Wald, Belgium, 17 December 1944.
Entered service at: Wichita, Kans.
Birth:Lincoln, Nebr.
G.O. No.: 48, 23 June 1945.

Citation: He was a heavy machinegunner in a section attached to Company I in the vicinity of Krinkelter Wald, Belgium, 17 December 1944, when that company was attacked by a numerically superior force of German Infantry and tanks. The first 6 waves of hostile Infantrymen were repulsed with heavy casualties, but a seventh drive with tanks killed or wounded all but 3 of his section, leaving PVT Cowan to man his gun, supported by only 15 to 20 riflemen of Company I. He maintained his position, holding off the Germans until the rest of the shattered force had set up a new line along a firebreak. Then, unaided, he moved his machinegun and ammunition to the second position. At the approach of a Royal Tiger tank, he held his fire until about 80 enemy Infantrymen supporting the tank appeared at a distance of about 150 yards. His first burst killed or wounded about half of these Infantrymen. His position was rocked by an 88mm. shell when the tank opened fire, but he continued to man his gun, pouring deadly fire into the Germans when they again advanced. He was barely missed by another shell. Fire from three machineguns and innumerable small arms struck all about him; an enemy rocket shook him badly, but did not drive him from his gun. Infiltration by the enemy had by this time made the position untenable, and the order was given to withdraw. PVT Cowan was the last man to leave, voluntarily covering the withdrawal of his remaining comrades. His heroic actions were entirely responsible for allowing the remaining men to retire successfully from the scene of their last-ditch stand.

LOUIS CUKELA

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 66th Company, 5th Regiment.
Place and date: Near Villers-Cotterets, France, 18 July 1918.
Entered service at: Minneapolis, Minn.
Birth: 1 May 1888, Sebenes, Austria.
G.O. No.: 34, W.D., 1919.

Citation: When his company, advancing through a wood, met with strong resistance from an enemy strong point, SGT Cukela crawled out from the flank and made his way toward the German lines in the face of heavy fire, disregarding the warnings of his comrades. He succeeded in getting behind the enemy position and rushed a machinegun emplacement, killing or driving off the crew with his bayonet. With German handgrenades he then bombed out the remaining portion of the strong point, capturing 4 men and 2 damaged machineguns.

JUNIOR D. EDWARDS

JUNIOR D. EDWARDS

Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, Company E, 23d Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Changbong-ni, Korea, 2 January 1951.
Entered service at: Indianola, Iowa.
Birth: 7 October 1926, Indianola, Iowa.
G.O. No.: 13, 1 February 1952.

Citation: SFC Edwards, Company E, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. When his platoon, while assisting in the defense of a strategic hill, was forced out of its position and came under vicious raking fire from an enemy machine gun set up on adjacent high ground, SFC Edwards individually charged the hostile emplacement, throwing grenades as he advanced. The enemy withdrew but returned to deliver devastating fire when he had expended his ammunition. Securing a fresh supply of grenades, he again charged the emplacement, neutralized the weapon and killed the crew, but was forced back by hostile small-arms fire. When the enemy emplaced another machine gun and resumed fire, SFC Edwards again renewed his supply of grenades, rushed a third time through a vicious hail of fire, silenced this second gun and annihilated its crew. In this third daring assault he was mortally wounded but his indomitable courage and successful action enabled his platoon to regain and hold the vital strongpoint. SFC Edwards' consummate valor and gallant self-sacrifice reflect the utmost glory upon himself and are in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the Infantry and military service.

Victor H. Espinoza

VICTOR H. ESPINOZA

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company A, 23d Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division.
Place and date: Chorwon, Korea, 1 August 1952.
Entered service at: El Paso, Tex.
Birth: 15 July 1929, El Paso, Tex.

Citation: For acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Acting Rifleman in Company A, 23d Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Chorwon, Korea on 1 August 1952. On that day, Corporal Espinoza and his unit were responsible for securing and holding a vital enemy hill. As the friendly unit neared its objective, it was subjected to a devastating volume of enemy fire, slowing its progress. Corporal Espinoza, unhesitatingly and being fully aware of the hazards involved, left his place of comparative safety and made a deliberate one man assault on the enemy with his rifle and grenades, destroying a machinegun and killing its crew. Corporal Espinoza continued across the fire-swept terrain to an exposed vantage point where he attacked an enemy mortar position and two bunkers with grenades and rifle fire, knocking out the enemy mortar position and destroying both bunkers and killing their occupants. Upon reaching the crest, and after running out of rifle ammunition, he called for more grenades. A comrade who was behind him threw some Chinese grenades to him. Immediately upon catching them, he pulled the pins and hurled them into the occupied trenches, killing and wounding more of the enemy with their own weapons. Continuing on through a tunnel, Corporal Espinoza made a daring charge, inflicting at least seven more casualties upon the enemy who were fast retreating into the tunnel. Corporal Espinoza was quickly in pursuit, but the hostile fire from the opening prevented him from overtaking the retreating enemy. As a result, Corporal Espinoza destroyed the tunnel with TNT, called for more grenades from his company, and hurled them at the enemy troops until they were out of reach. Corporal Espinoza’s incredible display of valor secured the vital strong point and took a heavy toll on the enemy, resulting in at least fourteen dead and eleven wounded. Corporal Espinoza’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

LEE R. HARTELL

LEE R. HARTELL

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Battery A, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Kobangsan-ni, Korea, 27 August 1951. Entered service at: Danbury, Conn.
Birth: Philadelphia, Pa.
G.O. No.: 16, 1 February 1952.

Citation: 1st. LT Hartell, a member of Battery A, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations. During the darkness of early morning, the enemy launched a ruthless attack against friendly positions on a rugged mountainous ridge. 1st LT Hartell, attached to Company B, 9th Infantry Regiment, as forward observer, quickly moved his radio to an exposed vantage on the ridge line to adjust defensive fires. Realizing the tactical advantage of illuminating the area of approach, he called for flares and then directed crippling fire into the onrushing assailants. At this juncture a large force of hostile troops swarmed up the slope in banzai charge and came within 10 yards of 1st LT Hartell's position. 1st LT Hartell sustained a severe hand wound in the ensuing encounter but grasped the microphone with his other hand and maintained his magnificent stand until the front and left flank of the company were protected by a close-in wall of withering fire, causing the fanatical foe to disperse and fall back momentarily. After the numerically superior enemy overran an outpost and was closing on his position, 1st LT Hartell, in a final radio call, urged the friendly elements to fire both batteries continuously. Although mortally wounded, 1st LT Hartell's intrepid actions contributed significantly to stemming the onslaught and enabled his company to maintain the strategic strongpoint. His consummate valor and unwavering devotion to duty reflect lasting glory on himself and uphold the noble traditions of the military service.

DAVID E. HAYDEN

DAVID E. HAYDEN

Rank and organization: Hospital Apprentice First Class, U.S. Navy, serving with the 2d Battalion, 6th Regiment, U.S. Marines.
Place and date: Thiaucourt, France, 15 September 1918.
Entered service at: Texas.
Birth: 2 October 1897 Florence, Tex.

Citation: For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. During the advance, when CPL Creed was mortally wounded while crossing an open field swept by machinegun fire, Hayden unhesitatingly ran to his assistance and, finding him so severely wounded as to require immediate attention, disregarded his own personal safety to dress the wound under intense machinegun fire, and then carried the wounded man back to a place of safety.

FREDERICK F. HENRY

FREDERICK F. HENRY

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company F, 38th Infantry Regiment.
Place and date: Vicinity of Am-Dong, Korea, 1 September 1950. Entered service at: Clinton, Okla.
Birth: Vian, Okla.
G.O. No.: 8, 16 February 1951.

Citation: 1st LT Henry, Company F, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. His platoon was holding a strategic ridge near the town when they were attacked by a superior enemy force, supported by heavy mortar and artillery fire. Seeing his platoon disorganized by this fanatical assault, he left his foxhole and moving along the line ordered his men to stay in place and keep firing. Encouraged by this heroic action the platoon reformed a defensive line and rained devastating fire on the enemy, checking its advance. Enemy fire had knocked out all communications and 1st LT Henry was unable to determine whether or not the main line of resistance was altered to this heavy attack. On his own initiative, although severely wounded, he decided to hold his position as long as possible and ordered the wounded evacuated and their weapons and ammunition brought to him. Establishing a l-man defensive position, he ordered the platoon's withdrawal and despite his wound and with complete disregard for himself remained behind to cover the movement. When last seen he was single-handedly firing all available weapons so effectively that he caused an estimated 50 enemy casualties. His ammunition was soon expended and his position overrun, but this intrepid action saved the platoon and halted the enemy's advance until the main line of resistance was prepared to throw back the attack. 1st LT Henry's outstanding gallantry and noble self-sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty reflect the highest honor on him and are in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the U.S. Army.

CHARLES F. HOFFMAN

CHARLES F. HOFFMAN

Rank and organization: Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 49th Company, 5th Regiment, 2d Division, (a.k.a Ernest August Janson ) .
Place and date: Near Chateau-Thierry, France, 6 June 1918.
Entered service at: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Birth: 17 August 1878, New York, N.Y.
G.O. No.: 34, W.D., 1919.

Citation: Immediately after the company to which he belonged had reached its objective on Hill 142, several hostile counterattacks were launched against the line before the new position had been consolidated. G/SGT Hoffman was attempting to organize a position on the north slope of the hill when he saw 12 of the enemy, armed with 5 light machineguns, crawling toward his group. Giving the alarm, he rushed the hostile detachment, bayoneted the 2 leaders, and forced the others to flee, abandoning their guns. His quick action, initiative, and courage drove the enemy from a position from which they could have swept the hill with machinegun fire and forced the withdrawal of our troops.

LOREN R. KAUFMAN

LOREN R. KAUFMAN

Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, Company G, 9th Infantry Regiment.
Place and date: Near Yongsan, Korea, 4 and 5 September 1950.
Entered service at: The Dalles, Oreg.
Birth: 27 July 1923, The Dalles, Oreg.
G.O. No.: 61, 2 August 1951.

Citation: SFC Kaufman distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. On the night of 4 September the company was in a defensive position on 2 adjoining hills. His platoon was occupying a strong point 2 miles away protecting the battalion flank. Early on 5 September the company was attacked by an enemy battalion and his platoon was ordered to reinforce the company. As his unit moved along a ridge it encountered a hostile encircling force. SFC Kaufman, running forward, bayoneted the lead scout and engaged the column in a rifle and grenade assauLT His quick Vicious attack so surprised the enemy that they retreated in confusion. When his platoon joined the company he discovered that the enemy had taken commanding ground and pinned the company down in a draw. Without hesitation SFC Kaufman charged the enemy lines firing his rifle and throwing grenades. During the action, he bayoneted 2 enemy and seizing an unmanned machine gun, delivered deadly fire on the defenders. Following this encounter the company regrouped and resumed the attack. Leading the assault he reached the ridge, destroyed a hostile machine gun position, and routed the remaining enemy. Pursuing the hostile troops he bayoneted 2 more and then rushed a mortar position shooting the gunners. Remnants of the enemy fled to a village and SFC Kaufman led a patrol into the town, dispersed them, and burned the buildings. The dauntless courage and resolute intrepid leadership of SFC Kaufman were directly responsible for the success of his company in regaining its positions, reflecting distinct credit upon himself and upholding the esteemed traditions of the military service.

JOHN JOSEPH KELLY

JOHN JOSEPH KELLY

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps, 78th Company, 6th Regiment, 2d Division.
Place and date: At Blanc Mont Ridge, France, 3 October 1918.
Entered service at: Chicago, Ill.
Birth: 24 June 1898, Chicago, Ill.

Citation: PVT Kelly ran through our own barrage 100 yards in advance of the front line and attacked an enemy machinegun nest, killing the gunner with a grenade, shooting another member of the crew with his pistol, and returning through the barrage with 8 prisoners.

TRUMAN KIMBRO

TRUMAN KIMBRO

Rank and organization: Technician Fourth Grade, U.S. Army, Company C, 2d Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Rocherath, Belgium, 19 December 1944.
Entered service at: Houston, Tex.
Birth: Madisonville, Tex.
G.O. No.: 42, 24 May 1945.

Citation: On 19 December 1944, as scout, he led a squad assigned to the mission of mining a vital crossroads near Rocherath, Belgium. At the first attempt to reach the objective, he discovered it was occupied by an enemy tank and at least 20 Infantrymen. Driven back by withering fire, Technician 4th Grade Kimbro made 2 more attempts to lead his squad to the crossroads but all approaches were covered by intense enemy fire. Although warned by our own Infantrymen of the great danger involved, he left his squad in a protected place and, laden with mines, crawled alone toward the crossroads. When nearing his objective he was severely wounded, but he continued to drag himself forward and laid his mines across the road. As he tried to crawl from the objective his body was riddled with rifle and machinegun fire. The mines laid by his act of indomitable courage delayed the advance of enemy armor and prevented the rear of our withdrawing columns from being attacked by the enemy.

MATEJ KOCAK

MATEJ KOCAK

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 66th Company, 5th Regiment, 2d Division.
Place and date: Near Soissons, France, 18 July 1918.
Entered service at: New York, N.Y.
Birth: 31 December 1882, Gbely (Slovakia), Austria.
G.O. No.: 34, W.D., 1919.

Citation: When the advance of his battalion was checked by a hidden machinegun nest, he went forward alone, unprotected by covering fire from his own men, and worked in between the German positions in the face of fire from enemy covering detachments. Locating the machinegun nest, he rushed it and with his bayonet drove off the crew. Shortly after this he organized 25 French colonial soldiers who had become separated from their company and led them in attacking another machinegun nest, which was also put out of action.

ERNEST R. KOUMA

ERNEST R. KOUMA

Rank and organization: Master Sergeant (then SFC) U.S. Army, Company A, 72d Tank Battalion.
Place and date: Vicinity of Agok, Korea, 31 August and 1 September 1950.
Entered service at: Dwight, Nebr.
Birth: 23 November 1919, Dwight, Nebr.
G.O. No.: 38, 4 June 1951.

Citation: MSG Kouma, a tank commander in Company A, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. His unit was engaged in supporting Infantry elements on the Naktong River front. Near midnight on 31 August, a hostile force estimated at 500 crossed the river and launched a fierce attack against the Infantry positions, inflicting heavy casualties. A withdrawal was ordered and his armored unit was given the mission of covering the movement until a secondary position could be established. The enemy assault overran 2 tanks, destroyed 1 and forced another to withdraw. Suddenly MSG Kouma discovered that his tank was the only obstacle in the path of the hostile onslaught. Holding his ground, he gave fire orders to his crew and remained in position throughout the night, fighting off repeated enemy attacks. During 1 fierce assault, the enemy surrounded his tank and he leaped from the armored turret, exposing himself to a hail of hostile fire, manned the .50 caliber machine gun mounted on the rear deck, and delivered pointblank fire into the fanatical foe. His machine gun emptied, he fired his pistol and threw grenades to keep the enemy from his tank. After more than 9 hours of constant combat and close-in fighting, he withdrew his vehicle to friendly lines. During the withdrawal through 8 miles of hostile territory, MSG Kouma continued to inflict casualties upon the enemy and exhausted his ammunition in destroying 3 hostile machine gun positions. During this action, MSG Kouma killed an estimated 250 enemy soldiers. His magnificent stand allowed the Infantry sufficient time to reestablish defensive positions. Rejoining his company, although suffering intensely from his wounds, he attempted to resupply his tank and return to the battle area. While being evacuated for medical treatment, his courage was again displayed when he requested to return to the front. MSG Kouma's superb leadership, heroism, and intense devotion to duty reflect the highest credit on himself and uphold the esteemed traditions of the U.S. Army.

EDWARD C. KRZYZOWSKI

EDWARD C. KRZYZOWSKI

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Company B, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Tondul, Korea, from 31 August to 3 September 1951.
Entered service at: Cicero, Ill.
Birth: 16 January 1914, Chicago, Ill.
G.O. No.: 56, 12 June 1952.

Citation: Capt. Krzyzowski, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy as commanding officer of Company B. Spearheading an assault against strongly defended Hill 700, his company came under vicious crossfire and grenade attack from enemy bunkers. Creeping up the fire-swept hill, he personally eliminated 1 bunker with his grenades and wiped out a second with carbine fire. Forced to retire to more tenable positions for the night, the company, led by Capt. Krzyzowski, resumed the attack the following day, gaining several hundred yards and inflicting numerous casualties. Overwhelmed by the numerically superior hostile force, he ordered his men to evacuate the wounded and move back. Providing protective fire for their safe withdrawal, he was wounded again by grenade fragments, but refused evacuation and continued to direct the defense. On 3 September, he led his valiant unit in another assault which overran several hostile positions, but again the company was pinned down by murderous fire. Courageously advancing alone to an open knoll to plot mortar concentrations against the hill, he was killed instantly by an enemy sniper's fire. Capt. Krzyzowski's consummate fortitude, heroic leadership, and gallant self-sacrifice, so clearly demonstrated throughout 3 days of bitter combat, reflect the highest credit and lasting glory on himself, the Infantry, and the U.S. Army.

HUBERT L. LEE

HUBERT L. LEE

Rank and organization: Master Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 23d Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Ip-ori, Korea, 1 February 1951.
Entered service at: Leland, Miss.
Birth: 2 February 1915, Arburg, Mo.
G.O. No.: 21, 5 February 1952.

Citation: MSG Lee, a member of Company I, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. When his platoon was forced from its position by a numerically superior enemy force, and his platoon leader wounded, MSG Lee assumed command, regrouped the remnants of his unit, and led them in repeated assaults to regain the position. Within 25 yards of his objective he received a leg wound from grenade fragments, but refused assistance and continued the attack. Although forced to withdraw 5 times, each time he regrouped his remaining men and renewed the assauLT Moving forward at the head of his small group in the fifth attempt, he was struck by an exploding grenade, knocked to the ground, and seriously wounded in both legs. Still refusing assistance, he advanced by crawling, rising to his knees to fire, and urging his men to follow. While thus directing the final assault he was wounded a third time, by small-arms fire. Persistently continuing to crawl forward, he directed his men in a final and successful attack which regained the vital objective. His intrepid leadership and determination led to the destruction of 83 of the enemy and withdrawal of the remainder, and was a vital factor in stopping the enemy attack. MSG Lee's indomitable courage, consummate valor, and outstanding leadership reflect the highest credit upon himself and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the Infantry and the U.S. Army.

CHARLES R. LONG

CHARLES R. LONG

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Hoengsong, Korea, 12 February 1951.
Entered service at: Kansas City, Mo.
Birth: 10 December 1923, Kansas City, Mo.
G.O. No.: 18, 1 February 1952.

Citation: SGT Long, a member of Company M, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations. When Company M, in a defensive perimeter on Hill 300, was viciously attacked by a numerically superior hostile force at approximately 0300 hours and ordered to withdraw, SGT Long, a forward observer for the mortar platoon, voluntarily remained at his post to provide cover by directing mortar fire on the enemy. Maintaining radio contact with his platoon, SGT Long coolly directed accurate mortar fire on the advancing foe. He continued firing his carbine and throwing hand grenades until his position was surrounded and he was mortally wounded. SGT Long's inspirational, valorous action halted the onslaught, exacted a heavy toll of enemy casualties, and enabled his company to withdraw, reorganize, counterattack, and regain the hill strongpoint. His unflinching courage and noble self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit on himself and are in keeping with the honored traditions of the military service.

JOSE M. LOPEZ

JOSE M. LOPEZ

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 23d Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Krinkelt, Belgium, 17 December 1944. Entered service at: Brownsville, Tex.
Birth: Mission, Tex.
G.O. No.: 47, 18 June 1945.

Citation: On his own initiative, he carried his heavy machinegun from Company K's right flank to its left, in order to protect that flank which was in danger of being overrun by advancing enemy Infantry supported by tanks. Occupying a shallow hole offering no protection above his waist, he cut down a group of 10 Germans. Ignoring enemy fire from an advancing tank, he held his position and cut down 25 more enemy Infantry attempting to turn his flank. Glancing to his right, he saw a large number of Infantry swarming in from the front. Although dazed and shaken from enemy artillery fire which had crashed into the ground only a few yards away, he realized that his position soon would be outflanked. Again, alone, he carried his machinegun to a position to the right rear of the sector; enemy tanks and Infantry were forcing a withdrawal. Blown over backward by the concussion of enemy fire, he immediately reset his gun and continued his fire. Single-handed he held off the German horde until he was satisfied his company had effected its retirement. Again he loaded his gun on his back and in a hail of small arms fire he ran to a point where a few of his comrades were attempting to set up another defense against the onrushing enemy. He fired from this position until his ammunition was exhausted. Still carrying his gun, he fell back with his small group to KrinkeLT SGT Lopez's gallantry and intrepidity, on seemingly suicidal missions in which he killed at least 100 of the enemy, were almost solely responsible for allowing Company K to avoid being enveloped, to withdraw successfully and to give other forces coming up in support time to build a line which repelled the enemy drive.

ALEXANDER GORDON LYLE

ALEXANDER GORDON LYLE

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Commander (Dental Corps), U.S. Navy.
Birth: 12 November 1889, Gloucester, Mass.
Appointed from: Massachusetts.
Other Navy Award: Legion of Merit.

Citation: For extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving with the 5th Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps. Under heavy shellfire, on 23 April 1918, on the French Front, LT Comdr. Lyle rushed to the assistance of CPL Thomas Regan, who was seriously wounded, and administered such effective surgical aid while bombardment was still continuing, as to save the life of CPL Regan.

JOHN J. McVElGH

JOHN J. McVElGH

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U .S. Army, Company H, 23d Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Brest, France, 29 August 1944.
Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa.
G.O. No.: 24, 6 April 1945.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty near Brest, France, on 29 August 1944. Shortly after dusk an enemy counterattack of platoon strength was launched against 1 platoon of Company G, 23d Infantry. Since the Company G platoon was not dug in and had just begun to assume defensive positions along a hedge, part of the line sagged momentarily under heavy fire from small arms and 2 flak guns, leaving a section of heavy machineguns holding a wide frontage without rifle protection. The enemy drive moved so swiftly that German riflemen were soon almost on top of 1 machinegun position. SGT McVeigh, heedless of a tremendous amount of small arms and flak fire directed toward him, stood up in full view of the enemy and directed the fire of his squad on the attacking Germans until his position was almost overrun. He then drew his trench knife. and single-handed charged several of the enemy. In a savage hand-to-hand struggle, SGT McVeigh killed 1 German with the knife, his only weapon, and was advancing on 3 more of the enemy when he was shot down and killed with small arms fire at pointblank range. SGT McVeigh's heroic act allowed the 2 remaining men in his squad to concentrate their machinegun fire on the attacking enemy and then turn their weapons on the 3 Germans in the road, killing all 3. Fire from this machinegun and the other gun of the section was almost entirely responsible for stopping this enemy assault, and allowed the rifle platoon to which it was attached time to reorganize, assume positions on and hold the high ground gained during the day.
WEEDON E. OSBORNE

WEEDON E. OSBORNE

Rank and organization: Lieutenant, Junior Grade, (Dental Corps), U.S. Navy.
Birth: 13 November 1892, Chicago, Ill.
Appointed from: Illinois.

Citation: For extraordinary heroism while attached to the 6th Regiment, U.S. Marines, in actual conflict with the enemy and under fire during the advance on Bouresche, France, on 6 June 1918. In the hottest of the fighting when the marines made their famous advance on Bouresche at the southern edge of Belleau Wood, LTJG. Osborne threw himself zealously into the work of rescuing the wounded. Extremely courageous in the performance of this perilous task, he was killed while carrying a wounded officer to a place of safety.

JOSEPH R. OUELLETTE

JOSEPH R. OUELLETTE

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company H, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Yongsan, Korea, from 31 August to 3 September 1950.
Entered service at: Lowell, Mass. Birth: Lowell, Mass.
G.O. No.: 25, 25 April 1951.

Citation: PFC Ouellette distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy in the Makioug-Chang River salient. When an enemy assault cut off and surrounded his unit he voluntarily made a reconnaissance of a nearby hill under intense enemy fire to locate friendly troop positions and obtain information of the enemy's strength and location. Finding that friendly troops were not on the hill, he worked his way back to his unit under heavy fire. Later, when an airdrop of water was made outside the perimeter, he again braved enemy fire in an attempt to retrieve water for his unit. Finding the dropped cans broken and devoid of water, he returned to his unit. His heroic attempt greatly increased his comrades' morale. When ammunition and grenades ran low, PFC Ouellette again slipped out of the perimeter to collect these from the enemy dead. After collecting grenades he was attacked by an enemy soldier. He killed this enemy in hand-to-hand combat, gathered up the ammunition, and returned to his unit. When the enemy attacked on 3 September, they assaulted his position with grenades. On 6 occasions PFC Ouellette leaped from his foxhole to escape exploding grenades. In doing so, he had to face enemy small-arms fire. He continued his resistance, despite a severe wound, until he lost his life. The extraordinary heroism and intrepidity displayed by PFC Ouellette reflect the highest credit on himself and are in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the military service.

ORLANDO HENDERSON PETTY

ORLANDO HENDERSON PETTY

Rank and organization: Lieutenant (Medical Corps), USNRF.
Birth: 20 February 1874, Harrison, Ohio.
Appointed from: Pennsylvania.

Citation: For extraordinary heroism while serving with the 5th Regiment, U.S. Marines, in France during the attack in the Boise de Belleau, 11 June 1918. While under heavy fire of high explosive and gas shells in the town of Lucy, where his dressing station was located, LT Petty attended to and evacuated the wounded under most trying conditions. Having been knocked to the ground by an exploding gas shell which tore his mask, LT Petty discarded the mask and courageously continued his work. His dressing station being hit and demolished, he personally helped carry Capt. Williams, wounded, through the shellfire to a place of safety.

HERBERT K. PILILAAU

HERBERT K. PILILAAU

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 23d Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division.
Place and date: Near Pia-ri, Korea, 17 September 1951. Entered service at: Oahu, T.H.
Birth: 10 October 1928, Waianae, Oahu, T.H.
G.O. No.: 58, 18 June 1952.

Citation: PFC Pililaau, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. The enemy sent wave after wave of fanatical troops against his platoon which held a key terrain feature on "Heartbreak Ridge." Valiantly defending its position, the unit repulsed each attack until ammunition became practically exhausted and it was ordered to withdraw to a new position. Voluntarily remaining behind to cover the withdrawal, PFC Pililaau fired his automatic weapon into the ranks of the assailants, threw all his grenades and, with ammunition exhausted, closed with the foe in hand-to-hand combat, courageously fighting with his trench knife and bare fists until finally overcome and mortally wounded. When the position was subsequently retaken, more than 40 enemy dead were counted in the area he had so valiantly defended. His heroic devotion to duty, indomitable fighting spirit, and gallant self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself, the Infantry, and the U.S. Army.

JOHN A. PITTMAN

JOHN A. PITTMAN

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 23d Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Kujangdong, Korea, 26 November 1950.
Entered service at: Carrolton, Miss.
Birth: 15 October 1928, Carrolton, Miss.
G.O. No.: 39, 4 June 1951.

Citation: SGT Pittman, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. He volunteered to lead his squad in a counterattack to regain commanding terrain lost in an earlier engagement. Moving aggressively forward in the face of intense artillery, mortar, and small-arms fire he was wounded by mortar fragments. Disregarding his wounds he continued to lead and direct his men in a bold advance against the hostile standpoint. During this daring action, an enemy grenade was thrown in the midst of his squad endangering the lives of his comrades. Without hesitation, SGT Pittman threw himself on the grenade and absorbed its burst with his body. When a medical aid man reached him, his first request was to be informed as to how many of his men were hurt. This intrepid and selfless act saved several of his men from death or serious injury and was an inspiration to the entire command. SGT Pittman's extraordinary heroism reflects the highest credit upon himself and is in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the military service.

JOHN HENRY PRUITT

JOHN HENRY PRUITT

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, 78th Company, 6th Regiment, 2d Division.
Place and date: At Blanc Mont Ridge, France, 3 October 1918.
Entered service at: Phoenix, Ariz.
Birth: 4 October 1896, Fayetteville, Ark.
G.O. No.: 62, W.D., 1919.

Citation: CPL Pruitt single-handed attacked 2 machineguns, capturing them and killing 2 of the enemy. He then captured 40 prisoners in a dugout nearby. This gallant soldier was killed soon afterward by shellfire while he was sniping at the enemy.

 

RONALD E. ROSSER

RONALD E. ROSSER

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Heavy Mortar Company, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
Place and date: Vicinity of Ponggilli, Korea, 12 January 1952.
Entered service at: Crooksville, Ohio.
Birth: 24 October 1929, Columbus, Ohio.
G.O. No.: 67, 7 July 1952.

Citation: CPL Rosser, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty. While assaulting heavily fortified enemy hill positions, Company L, 38th Infantry Regiment, was stopped by fierce automatic-weapons, small-arms, artillery, and mortar fire. CPL Rosser, a forward observer was with the lead platoon of Company L, when it came under fire from 2 directions. CPL Rosser turned his radio over to his assistant and, disregarding the enemy fire, charged the enemy positions armed with only carbine and a grenade. At the first bunker, he silenced its occupants with a burst from his weapon. Gaining the top of the hill, he killed 2 enemy soldiers, and then went down the trench, killing 5 more as he advanced. He then hurled his grenade into a bunker and shot 2 other soldiers as they emerged. Having exhausted his ammunition, he returned through the enemy fire to obtain more ammunition and grenades and charged the hill once more. Calling on others to follow him, he assaulted 2 more enemy bunkers. Although those who attempted to join him became casualties, CPL Rosser once again exhausted his ammunition obtained a new supply, and returning to the hilltop a third time hurled grenades into the enemy positions. During this heroic action CPL Rosser single-handedly killed at least 13 of the enemy. After exhausting his ammunition he accompanied the withdrawing platoon, and though himself wounded, made several trips across open terrain still under enemy fire to help remove other men injured more seriously than himself. This outstanding soldier's courageous and selfless devotion to duty is worthy of emulation by all men. He has contributed magnificently to the high traditions of the military service.

WILLIAM S. SITMAN

WILLIAM S. SITMAN

Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, Company M, 23d Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Chipyong-ni, Korea, 14 February 1951.
Entered service at: Bellwood, Pa.
Birth: Bellwood, Pa.
G.O. No.: 20, 1 February 1952.

Citation: SFC Sitman distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations. SFC Sitman, a machine gun section leader of Company M, was attached to Company I, under attack by a numerically superior hostile force. During the encounter when an enemy grenade knocked out his machine gun, a squad from Company I, immediately emplaced a light machine gun and SFC Sitman and his men remained to provide security for the crew. In the ensuing action, the enemy lobbed a grenade into the position and SFC Sitman, fully aware of the odds against him, selflessly threw himself on it, absorbing the full force of the explosion with his body. Although mortally wounded in this fearless display of valor, his intrepid act saved 5 men from death or serious injury, and enabled them to continue inflicting withering fire on the ruthless foe throughout the attack. SFC Sitman's noble self-sacrifice and consummate devotion to duty reflect lasting glory on himself and uphold the honored traditions of the military service.

DAVID M. SMITH

DAVID M. SMITH

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company E, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Yongsan, Korea, 1 September 1950. Entered service at: Livingston, Ky.
Birth: 10 November 1926, Livingston, Ky.
G.O. No.: 78, 21 August 1952.

Citation: PFC Smith, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action. PFC Smith was a gunner in the mortar section of Company E, emplaced in rugged mountainous terrain and under attack by a numerically superior hostile force. Bitter fighting ensued and the enemy overran forward elements, infiltrated the perimeter, and rendered friendly positions untenable. The mortar section was ordered to withdraw, but the enemy had encircled and closed in on the position. Observing a grenade lobbed at his emplacement, PFC Smith shouted a warning to his comrades and, fully aware of the odds against him, flung himself upon it and smothered the explosion with his body. Although mortally wounded in this display of valor, his intrepid act saved 5 men from death or serious injury. PFC Smith's inspirational conduct and supreme sacrifice reflect lasting glory on himself and are in keeping with the noble traditions of the Infantry of the U.S. Army.

WILLIAM A. SODERMAN

WILLIAM A. SODERMAN

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company K, 9th Infantry, 2d Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Rocherath, Belgium, 17 December 1944.
Entered service at: West Haven, Conn.
Birth: West Haven, Conn.
G.O. No.: 97, 1 November 1945.

Citation: Armed with a bazooka, he defended a key road junction near Rocherath, Belgium, on 17 December 1944, during the German Ardennes counteroffensive. After a heavy artillery barrage had wounded and forced the withdrawal of his assistant, he heard enemy tanks approaching the position where he calmly waited in the gathering darkness of early evening until the 5 Mark V tanks which made up the hostile force were within pointblank range. He then stood up, completely disregarding the firepower that could be brought to bear upon him, and launched a rocket into the lead tank, setting it afire and forcing its crew to abandon it as the other tanks pressed on before PFC Soderman could reload. The daring bazooka man remained at his post all night under severe artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire, awaiting the next onslaught, which was made shortly after dawn by 5 more tanks Running along a ditch to meet them, he reached an advantageous point and there leaped to the road in full view of the tank gunners, deliberately aimed his weapon and disabled the lead tank. The other vehicles, thwarted by a deep ditch in their attempt to go around the crippled machine, withdrew. While returning to his post PFC Soderman, braving heavy fire to attack an enemy Infantry platoon from close range, killed at least 3 Germans and wounded several others with a round from his bazooka. By this time, enemy pressure had made Company K's position untenable. Orders were issued for withdrawal to an assembly area, where PFC Soderman was located when he once more heard enemy tanks approaching. Knowing that elements of the company had not completed their disengaging maneuver and were consequently extremely vulnerable to an armored attack, he hurried from his comparatively safe position to meet the tanks. Once more he disabled the lead tank with a single rocket, his last; but before he could reach cover, machinegun bullets from the tank ripped into his right shoulder. Unarmed and seriously wounded he dragged himself along a ditch to the American lines and was evacuated. Through his unfaltering courage against overwhelming odds, PFC Soderman contributed in great measure to the defense of Rocherath, exhibiting to a superlative degree the intrepidity and heroism with which American soldiers met and smashed the savage power of the last great German offensive.

FRED W. STOCKHAM

FRED W. STOCKHAM

Rank and organization: Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 96th Company, 2d Battalion, 6th Regiment.
Place and date: In Bois-de-Belleau, France, 13-14 June 1918.
Entered service at: New York, N.Y.
Birth: Detroit, Mich.

Citation: During an intense enemy bombardment with high explosive and gas shells which wounded or killed many members of the company, G/SGT Stockham, upon noticing that the gas mask of a wounded comrade was shot away, without hesitation, removed his own gas mask and insisted upon giving it to the wounded man, well knowing that the effects of the gas would be fatal to himself. He continued with undaunted courage and valor to direct and assist in the evacuation of the wounded, until he himself collapsed from the effects of gas, dying as a result thereof a few days later. His courageous conduct undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his wounded comrades and his conspicuous gallantry and spirit of self-sacrifice were a source of great inspiration to all who served with him.

LUTHER H. STORY

LUTHER H. STORY

Rank and organization Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Agok, Korea, 1 September 1950.
Entered service at: Georgia.
Birth: 20 July 1931, Buena Vista, Ga.
G.O. No.: 70, 2 August 1951.

Citation: Pfc. Story, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. A savage daylight attack by elements of 3 enemy divisions penetrated the thinly held lines of the 9th Infantry. Company A beat off several banzai attacks but was bypassed and in danger of being cut off and surrounded. Pfc. Story, a weapons squad leader, was heavily engaged in stopping the early attacks and had just moved his squad to a position overlooking the Naktong River when he observed a large group of the enemy crossing the river to attack Company A. Seizing a machine gun from his wounded gunner he placed deadly fire on the hostile column killing or wounding an estimated 100 enemy soldiers. Facing certain encirclement the company commander ordered a withdrawal. During the move Pfc. Story noticed the approach of an enemy truck loaded with troops and towing an ammunition trailer. Alerting his comrades to take cover he fearlessly stood in the middle of the road, throwing grenades into the truck. Out of grenades he crawled to his squad, gathered up additional grenades and again attacked the vehicle. During the withdrawal the company was attacked by such superior numbers that it was forced to deploy in a rice field. Pfc. Story was wounded in this action, but, disregarding his wounds, rallied the men about him and repelled the attack. Realizing that his wounds would hamper his comrades he refused to retire to the next position but remained to cover the company's withdrawal. When last seen he was firing every weapon available and fighting off another hostile assauLT Private Story's extraordinary heroism, aggressive leadership, and supreme devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and were in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the military service.

CHARLES W. TURNER

CHARLES W. TURNER

Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, 2d Reconnaissance Company, 2nd Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Yongsan, Korea, 1 September 1950.
Entered service at: Massachusetts.
Birth: Boston, Mass.
G.O. No.: 10, 16 February 1951.

Citation: SFC Turner distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. A large enemy force launched a mortar and automatic weapon supported assault against his platoon. SFC Turner, a section leader, quickly organized his unit for defense and then observed that the attack was directed at the tank section 100 yards away. Leaving his secured section he dashed through a hail of fire to the threatened position and, mounting a tank, manned the exposed turret machine gun. Disregarding the intense enemy fire he calmly held this position delivering deadly accurate fire and pointing out targets for the tank's 75mm. gun. His action resulted in the destruction of 7 enemy machine gun nests. Although severely wounded he remained at the gun shouting encouragement to his comrades. During the action the tank received over 50 direct hits; the periscopes and antenna were shot away and 3 rounds hit the machine gun mount. Despite this fire he remained at his post until a burst of enemy fire cost him his life. This intrepid and heroic performance enabled the platoon to withdraw and later launch an attack which routed the enemy. SFC Turner's valor and example reflect the highest credit upon himself and are in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the U.S. Army.

LUDOVICUS M.M. VAN IERSEL

LUDOVICUS M.M. VAN IERSEL

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 9th Infantry, 2d Division.
Place and date: At Mouzon, France, 9 November 1918.
Entered service at: Glen Rock, N.J.
Birth:Holland.
G.O. No.: 34, W.D., 1919.

Citation: While a member of the reconnaissance patrol, sent out at night to ascertain the condition of a damaged bridge, SGT Van Iersel volunteered to lead a party across the bridge in the face of heavy machinegun and rifle fire from a range of only 75 yards. Crawling alone along the debris of the ruined bridge he came upon a trap, which gave away and precipitated him into the water. In spite of the swift current he succeeded in swimming across the stream and found a lodging place among the timbers on the opposite bank. Disregarding the enemy fire, he made a careful investigation of the hostile position by which the bridge was defended and then returned to the other bank of the river, reporting this valuable information to the battalion commander.
Miguel Armando Vera

MIGUEL ARMANDO VERA

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company F, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division.
Place and date: Chorwon, Korea, 21 September 1952.
Entered service at: Adjuntas, Puerto Rico.
Birth: 3 May 1932, Adjuntas, Puerto Rico.

Citation: For acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an automatic rifleman with Company F, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division in Chorwon, Korea, on 21 September 1952. That morning, despite suffering from wounds inflicted in a previous battle, Private Vera voluntarily left the aid station to join his comrades in an attack against well-fortified enemy positions on a hill of great importance. When the assaulting elements had moved within twenty yards of the enemy positions, they were suddenly trapped by a heavy volume of mortar, artillery and small-arms fire. The company prepared to make a limited withdrawal, but Private Vera volunteered to remain behind to provide covering fire. As his companions moved to safety, Private Vera remained steadfast in his position, directing accurate fire against the hostile positions despite the intense volume of fire which the enemy was concentrating upon him. Later in the morning, when the friendly force returned, they discovered Private Vera in the same position, facing the enemy. Private Vera’s noble intrepidity and self-sacrifice saved many of his comrades’ lives. Private Vera’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

TRAVIS E. WATKINS

TRAVIS E. WATKINS

Rank and organization: Master Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company H, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Yongsan, Korea, 31 August through 3 September 1950.
Entered service at: Texas.
Birth: Waldo, Ark.
G.O. No.: 9, 16 February 1951.

Citation: MSG Watkins distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. When an overwhelming enemy force broke through and isolated 30 men of his unit, he took command, established a perimeter defense and directed action which repelled continuous, fanatical enemy assaults. With his group completely surrounded and cut off, he moved from foxhole to foxhole exposing himself to enemy fire, giving instructions and offering encouragement to his men. Later when the need for ammunition and grenades became critical he shot 2 enemy soldiers 50 yards outside the perimeter and went out alone for their ammunition and weapons. As he picked up their weapons he was attacked by 3 others and wounded. Returning their fire he killed all 3 and gathering up the weapons of the 5 enemy dead returned to his amazed comrades. During a later assault, 6 enemy soldiers gained a defiladed spot and began to throw grenades into the perimeter making it untenable. Realizing the desperate situation and disregarding his wound he rose from his foxhole to engage them with rifle fire. Although immediately hit by a burst from an enemy machine gun he continued to fire until he had killed the grenade throwers. With this threat eliminated he collapsed and despite being paralyzed from the waist down, encouraged his men to hold on. He refused all food, saving it for his comrades, and when it became apparent that help would not arrive in time to hold the position ordered his men to escape to friendly lines. Refusing evacuation as his hopeless condition would burden his comrades, he remained in his position and cheerfully wished them luck. Through his aggressive leadership and intrepid actions, this small force destroyed nearly 500 of the enemy before abandoning their position. MSG Watkins' sustained personal bravery and noble self-sacrifice reflect the highest glory upon himself and is in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the U.S. Army.

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