Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 7 July

Another day of small unit leaders, formal and informal, making a difference, only one of them surviving to receive his award.  That would be our first recipient from the Civil War, Lieutenant Patrick Doody, who lived on until 1924.

DOODY, PATRICK

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company E., 164th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Cold Harbor, Va., 7 June 1864. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 13 December 1893. Citation: After making a successful personal reconnaissance, he gallantly led the skirmishers in a night attack, charging the enemy, and thus enabling the pioneers to put up works.

7 June takes a day off from certified heroics (because far more Medals have been earned than have been awarded, if you take my meaning) until the Battle of Okinawa, in 1945, when Private McTureous showed the quality of his metal.  Something you should know about Robert McTureous – he was classified 4F (undraftable) by his draft board.  He sought two surgeries to correct the problem so that he could serve.

*McTUREOUS, ROBERT MILLER, JR.

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 26 March 1924, Altoona, Fla. Accredited to: Florida. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, while serving with the 3d Battalion, 29th Marines, 6th Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa in the Ryukyu Chain, 7 June 1945. Alert and ready for any hostile counteraction following his company’s seizure of an important hill objective, Pvt. McTureous was quick to observe the plight of company stretcher bearers who were suddenly assailed by slashing machinegun fire as they attempted to evacuate wounded at the rear of the newly won position. Determined to prevent further casualties, he quickly filled his jacket with hand grenades and charged the enemy-occupied caves from which the concentrated barrage was emanating. Coolly disregarding all personal danger as he waged his furious 1-man assault, he smashed grenades into the cave entrances, thereby diverting the heaviest fire from the stretcher bearers to his own person and, resolutely returning to his own lines under a blanketing hail of rifle and machinegun fire to replenish his supply of grenades, dauntlessly continued his systematic reduction of Japanese strength until he himself sustained serious wounds after silencing a large number of the hostile guns. Aware of his own critical condition and unwilling to further endanger the lives of his comrades, he stoically crawled a distance of 200 yards to a sheltered position within friendly lines before calling for aid. By his fearless initiative and bold tactics, Pvt. McTureous had succeeded in neutralizing the enemy fire, killing 6 Japanese troops and effectively disorganizing the remainder of the savagely defending garrison. His outstanding valor and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice during a critical stage of operations reflect the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service.

Korea.

Private First Class Hanson was in the same battalion as Master Sergeant Benjamin Wilson, of 5 July fame.  Tough soldiers, those fellows of the 31st Infantry.  Lieutenant Shea had a horrible, bad, awful day on Pork Chop Hill.

*HANSON, JACK G.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company F, 31st Infantry Regiment. Place and date: Near Pachi-dong, Korea, 7 June 1951. Entered service at: Galveston, Tex. Born: 18 September 1930, Escaptawpa, Miss. G.O. No.: 15, 1 February 1952. Citation: Pfc. Hanson, a machine gunner with the 1st Platoon, Company F, 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. The company, in defensive positions on two strategic hills separated by a wide saddle, was ruthlessly attacked at approximately 0300 hours, the brunt of which centered on the approach to the divide within range of Pfc. Hanson’s machine gun. In the initial phase of the action, 4 riflemen were wounded and evacuated and the numerically superior enemy, advancing under cover of darkness, infiltrated and posed an imminent threat to the security of the command post and weapons platoon. Upon orders to move to key terrain above and to the right of Pfc. Hanson’s position, he voluntarily remained to provide protective fire for the withdrawal. Subsequent to the retiring elements fighting a rearguard action to the new location, it was learned that Pfc. Hanson’s assistant gunner and 3 riflemen had been wounded and had crawled to safety, and that he was maintaining a lone-man defense. After the 1st Platoon reorganized, counterattacked, and resecured its original positions at approximately 0530 hours, Pfc. Hanson’s body was found lying in front of his emplacement, his machine gun ammunition expended, his empty pistol in his right hand, and a machete with blood on the blade in his left hand, and approximately 22 enemy dead lay in the wake of his action. Pfc. Hanson’s consummate valor, inspirational conduct, and willing self-sacrifice enabled the company to contain the enemy and regain the commanding ground, and reflect lasting glory on himself and the noble traditions of the military service.

*SHEA JR., Richard T

RANK: FIRST LIEUTENANT UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY A, 17TH INFANTRY REGIMENT, 7TH INFANTRY DIVISION DATE: JUNE 7, 1953 PLACE: PORK CHOP HILL, NEAR SOKKOGAE, KOREA
CITATION: 1st Lt. Shea, executive officer, Company A, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. On the night of 6 July, he was supervising the reinforcement of defensive positions when the enemy attacked with great numerical superiority. Voluntarily proceeding to the area most threatened, he organized and led a counterattack and, in the bitter fighting which ensued, closed with and killed two hostile soldiers with his trench knife. Calmly moving among the men, checking positions, steadying and urging the troops to hold firm, he fought side by side with them throughout the night. Despite heavy losses, the hostile force pressed the assault with determination, and at dawn made an all-out attempt to overrun friendly elements. Charging forward to meet the challenge, 1st Lt. Shea and his gallant men drove back the hostile troops. Elements of Company G joined the defense on the afternoon of 7 July, having lost key personnel through casualties. Immediately integrating these troops into his unit, 1st Lt. Shea rallied a group of 20 men and again charged the enemy. Although wounded in this action, he refused evacuation and continued to lead the counterattack. When the assaulting element was pinned down by heavy machine-gun fire, he personally rushed the emplacement and, firing his carbine and lobbing grenades with deadly accuracy, neutralized the weapon and killed three of the enemy. With forceful leadership and by his heroic example, 1st Lt. Shea coordinated and directed a holding action throughout the night and the following morning. On 8 July, the enemy attacked again. Despite additional wounds, he launched a determined counterattack and was last seen in close hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. 1st Lt. Shea’s inspirational leadership and unflinching courage set an illustrious example of valor to the men of his regiment, reflecting lasting glory upon himself and upholding the noble traditions of the military service.

And lastly, on to Vietnam.

*McDONALD, PHILL G.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. place and date: Near Kontum City, Republic of Vietnam, 7 June 1968. Entered service at: Beckley, W . Va. Born: 13 September 1941. Avondale, W. Va. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. McDonald distinguished himself while serving as a team leader with the 1st platoon of Company A. While on a combat mission his platoon came under heavy barrage of automatic weapons fire from a well concealed company-size enemy force. Volunteering to escort 2 wounded comrades to an evacuation point, Pfc. McDonald crawled through intense fire to destroy with a grenade an enemy automatic weapon threatening the safety of the evacuation. Returning to his platoon, he again volunteered to provide covering fire for the maneuver of the platoon from its exposed position. Realizing the threat he posed, enemy gunners concentrated their fire on Pfc. McDonald’s position, seriously wounding him. Despite his painful wounds, Pfc. McDonald recovered the weapon of a wounded machine gunner to provide accurate covering fire for the gunner’s evacuation. When other soldiers were pinned down by a heavy volume of fire from a hostile machine gun to his front, Pfc. McDonald crawled toward the enemy position to destroy it with grenades. He was mortally wounded in this intrepid action. Pfc. McDonald’s gallantry at the risk of his life which resulted in the saving of the lives of his comrades, is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

*MURRAY, ROBERT C.

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, 196th Infantry Brigade, 23d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near the village of Hiep Duc, Republic of Vietnam, 7 June 1970. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Born: 10 December 1946, Bronx, N.Y. Citation: S/Sgt. Murray distinguished himself while serving as a squad leader with Company B. S/Sgt. Murray’s squad was searching for an enemy mortar that had been threatening friendly positions when a member of the squad tripped an enemy grenade rigged as a booby trap. Realizing that he had activated the enemy booby trap, the soldier shouted for everybody to take cover. Instantly assessing the danger to the men of his squad, S/Sgt. Murray unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own safety, threw himself on the grenade absorbing the full and fatal impact of the explosion. By his gallant action and self sacrifice, he prevented the death or injury of the other members of his squad. S/Sgt. Murray’s extraordinary courage and gallantry, at the cost of his life above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

*Indicates posthumous award.

Published by The Armorer

A grumpy old Cincinnatus who feeds goats, dogs, cats, ducks, peafowl, a horse, and sundry avians, especially in the winter. From time to time you will see guns. Until such time as the Progressives repeal the 2nd Amendment, everything you see is legal, Federal, State, Local, where I live. Your progressive paradise may have different rules. Don't project them onto me. Federalism still exists, even if it is but a shadow of what the Framers intended.

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