Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 27 March

There are five Medals awarded for actions on this day.  Two during the Indian Campaigns, one during WWII and two during the Korean War.  Two were posthumous awards.

Indian Campaigns.  Back to Turret Mountain.

ALLEN, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company I, 23d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Turret Mountain, Ariz., 27 March 1873. Entered service at: Lansingburg, N.Y. Birth: Brightstown, N.Y. Date of issue: 12 April 1875. Citation: Gallantry in action.

STANLEY, EBEN

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 5th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: Near Turret Mountain, Ariz., 25 and 27 March 1873. Entered service at. ——. Birth: Decatur County, Iowa. Date of issue: 12 April 1875. Citation: Gallantry in action.

World War II.  One tough grunt.

*HEDRICK, CLINTON M
Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, Company I, 194TH Glider Infantry, 17TH Airborne Division.  Citation: He displayed extraordinary heroism and gallantry in action on 27-28 March 1945, in Germany. Following an airborne landing near Wesel, his unit was assigned as the assault platoon for the assault on Lembeck. Three times the landing elements were pinned down by intense automatic-weapon fire from strongly defended positions. Each time, T/Sgt. Hedrick fearlessly charged through heavy fire, shooting his automatic rifle from his hip. His courageous action so inspired his men that they reduced the enemy positions in rapid succession. When six of the enemy attempted a surprise, flanking movement, he quickly turned and killed the entire party with a burst of fire. Later, the enemy withdrew across a moat into Lembeck Castle. T/Sgt. Hedrick, with utter disregard for his own safety, plunged across the drawbridge alone in pursuit. When a German soldier, with hands upraised, declared the garrison wished to surrender, he entered the castle yard with four of his men to accept the capitulation. The group moved through a sally port, and was met by fire from a German self- propelled gun. Although mortally wounded, T/Sgt. Hedrick fired at the enemy gun and covered the withdrawal of his comrades. He died while being evacuated after the castle was taken. His great personal courage and heroic leadership contributed in large measure to the speedy capture of Lembeck and provided an inspiring example to his comrades.

Korea.  Two Corpsmen doing what makes the combat soldier love medics.

CHARETTE, WILLIAM R.

Rank and organization: Hospital Corpsman Third Class, U.S. Navy Medical Corpsman serving with a marine rifle company. Place and date: Korea, 27 March 1953. Entered service at: Ludington, Michigan. Birth: Ludington, Mich. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against enemy aggressor forces during the early morning hours. Participating in a fierce encounter with a cleverly concealed and well-entrenched enemy force occupying positions on a vital and bitterly contested outpost far in advance of the main line of resistance, HC3c. Charette repeatedly and unhesitatingly moved about through a murderous barrage of hostile small-arms and mortar fire to render assistance to his wounded comrades. When an enemy grenade landed within a few feet of a marine he was attending, he immediately threw himself upon the stricken man and absorbed the entire concussion of the deadly missile with his body. Although sustaining painful facial wounds, and undergoing shock from the intensity of the blast which ripped the helmet and medical aid kit from his person, HC3c. Charette resourcefully improvised emergency bandages by tearing off part of his clothing, and gallantly continued to administer medical aid to the wounded in his own unit and to those in adjacent platoon areas as well. Observing a seriously wounded comrade whose armored vest had been torn from his body by the blast from an exploding shell, he selflessly removed his own battle vest and placed it upon the helpless man although fully aware of the added jeopardy to himself. Moving to the side of another casualty who was suffering excruciating pain from a serious leg wound, HC3c. Charette stood upright in the trench line and exposed himself to a deadly hail of enemy fire in order to lend more effective aid to the victim and to alleviate his anguish while being removed to a position of safety. By his indomitable courage and inspiring efforts in behalf of his wounded comrades, HC3c. Charette was directly responsible for saving many lives. His great personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

*HAMMOND, FRANCIS C.

Rank and organization: Hospital Corpsman, U.S. Navy, attached as a medical corpsman to 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Korea, 26-27 March 1953. Entered service at: Alexandria, Va. Birth: Alexandria, Va. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a HC serving with the 1st Marine Division in action against enemy aggressor forces on the night of 26-27 March 1953. After reaching an intermediate objective during a counterattack against a heavily entrenched and numerically superior hostile force occupying ground on a bitterly contested outpost far in advance of the main line of resistance, HC Hammond’s platoon was subjected to a murderous barrage of hostile mortar and artillery fire, followed by a vicious assault by onrushing enemy troops. Resolutely advancing through the veritable curtain of fire to aid his stricken comrades, HC Hammond moved among the stalwart garrison of marines and, although critically wounded himself, valiantly continued to administer aid to the other wounded throughout an exhausting 4-hour period. When the unit was ordered to withdraw, he skillfully directed the evacuation of casualties and remained in the fire-swept area to assist the corpsmen of the relieving unit until he was struck by a round of enemy mortar fire and fell, mortally wounded. By his exceptional fortitude, inspiring initiative and self-sacrificing efforts, HC Hammond undoubtedly saved the lives of many marines. His great personal valor in the face of overwhelming odds enhances and sustains the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 26 March

There are three Medals awarded for actions on this day.  One from the Civil War and two from the modern era and both were posthumous.

Civil War

KELLY, DANIEL ARMER
Rank and organization: Sergeant (Later Quartermaster Sergeant), Company G, 8th New York Cavalry. Capture of rebel flag at Waynesboro, VA, March 26, 1865.

World War II

*MARTIN, HARRY LINN
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Born: 4 January 1911, Bucyrus, Ohio. Appointed from. Ohio. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as platoon leader attached to Company C, 5th Pioneer Battalion, 5th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 26 March 1945. With his sector of the 5th Pioneer Battalion bivouac area penetrated by a concentrated enemy attack launched a few minutes before dawn, 1st Lt. Martin instantly organized a firing line with the marines nearest his foxhole and succeeded in checking momentarily the headlong rush of the Japanese. Determined to rescue several of his men trapped in positions overrun by the enemy, he defied intense hostile fire to work his way through the Japanese to the surrounded marines. Although sustaining 2 severe wounds, he blasted the Japanese who attempted to intercept him, located his beleaguered men and directed them to their own lines. When 4 of the infiltrating enemy took possession of an abandoned machinegun pit and subjected his sector to a barrage of hand grenades, 1st Lt. Martin, alone and armed only with a pistol, boldly charged the hostile position and killed all of its occupants. Realizing that his few remaining comrades could not repulse another organized attack, he called to his men to follow and then charged into the midst of the strong enemy force, firing his weapon and scattering them until he fell, mortally wounded by a grenade. By his outstanding valor, indomitable fighting spirit and tenacious determination in the face of overwhelming odds, 1st Lt. Martin permanently disrupted a coordinated Japanese attack and prevented a greater loss of life in his own and adjacent platoons. His inspiring leadership and unswerving devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.

Vietnam

*DICKEY, DOUGLAS E.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company C, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade, 3d Marine Division (Rein). Place and dale: Republic of Vietnam, 26 March 1967. Entered service at: Cincinnati, Ohio. Born: 24 December 1946, Greenville, Darke, Ohio. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While participating in Operation Beacon Hill 1, the 2d Platoon was engaged in a fierce battle with the Viet Cong at close range in dense jungle foliage. Pfc. Dickey had come forward to replace a radio operator who had been wounded in this intense action and was being treated by a medical corpsman. Suddenly an enemy grenade landed in the midst of a group of marines, which included the wounded radio operator who was immobilized. Fully realizing the inevitable result of his actions, Pfc. Dickey, in a final valiant act, quickly and unhesitatingly threw himself upon the deadly grenade, absorbing with his body the full and complete force of the explosion. Pfc. Dickey’s personal heroism, extraordinary valor and selfless courage saved a number of his comrades from certain injury and possible death at the cost of his life. His actions reflected great credit upon himself, the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 25 March

Today is Medal of Honor Day, an annual observation by the federal government (but not a holiday, mind you).

There are sixteen Medals awarded for actions on this day, the bulk of them during the 19th Century. Only one is posthumous.

Civil War. As the war enters the endgame, the action picks up around Petersburg.

CARTER, JOSEPH F.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company D, 3d Maryland Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Stedman, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: Baltimore, Md. Birth: Baltimore, Md. Date of issue: 9 July 1891. Citation: Captured the colors of the 51st Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.). During the battle he was captured and escaped bringing a number of prisoners with him.

CHAMBERS, JOSEPH B.

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 100th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: East Brook, Pa. Birth: Beaver County, Pa. Date of issue: 27 July 1871. Citation: Capture of colors of 1st Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.).

DEANE, JOHN M.

Rank and organization: Major, 29th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Stedman, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: ——. Born: 8 January 1840, Freetown, Mass. Date of issue: 8 March 1895. Citation: This officer, observing an abandoned gun within Fort Haskell, called for volunteers, and under a heavy fire, worked the gun until the enemy’s advancing line was routed.

GAYLORD, LEVI B.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 29th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Stedman, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Boston, Mass. Date of issue: 22 June 1896. Citation: Voluntarily assisted in working an abandoned gun, while exposed to heavy fire, until the enemy’s advancing line was routed by a charge on its left flank.

HOUGHTON, CHARLES H.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company L, 14th New York Artillery. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 30 July 1864; 25 March 1865. Entered service at: Ogdensburg, N.Y. Born: 30 April 1842, Macomb, St. Lawrence County, N.Y. Date of issue: 5 April 1898. Citation: In the Union assault at the Crater (30 July 1864), and in the Confederate assault repelled at Fort Haskell, displayed most conspicuous gallantry and repeatedly exposed himself voluntarily to great danger, was 3 times wounded, and suffered loss of a leg.

HOWE, WILLIAM H.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company K, 29th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Stedman, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Haverhill, Mass. Date of issue: 8 March 1895. Citation: Served an abandoned gun under heavy fire.

LITTLEFIELD, GEORGE H.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company G, 1st Maine Veteran Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Fisher, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: Skowhegan, Maine. Birth: Skowhegan, Maine. Date of issue: 22 June 1885. Citation: The color sergeant having been wounded, this soldier picked up the flag and bore it to the front, to the great encouragement of the charging column.

McDONALD, GEORGE E.

Rank and organization: Private, Company L, 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery. Place and date: At Fort Stedman, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: Warwick, R.I. Birth: Warwick, R.I. Date of issue: 21 July 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.

MURPHY, JAMES T.

Rank and organization: Private, Company L, 1st Connecticut Artillery. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: New Haven, Conn. Birth: Canada. Date of issue: 29 October 1886. Citation: A piece of artillery having been silenced by the enemy, this soldier voluntarily ass1sted in working the piece, conducting himself throughout the engagement in a gallant and fearless manner.

OLIVER, CHARLES

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company M, 100th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: Allegheny County, Pa. Birth: Allegheny County, Pa. Date of issue. 3 July 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 31st Georgia Infantry (C.S.A.).

PINKHAM, CHARLES H.

Rank and organization: Sergeant Major, 57th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Stedman, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Grafton, Mass. Date of issue: 15 April 1895. Citation: Captured the flag of the 57th North Carolina Infantry (C.S.A.) and saved his own colors by tearing them from the staff while the enemy was in the camp.

THOMPKINS, GEORGE W.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company F, 124th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: Esport Jervis, N.Y. Birth: Orange County, N.Y. Date of issue: 6 April 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 49th Alabama Infantry (C.S.A.) from an officer who, with colors in hand, was rallying his men.

Indian Campaigns. The battle of Turret Peak, against the Yavapai.

BISHOP, DANIEL

Rank and organization. Sergeant, Company A, 5th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Turret Mountain, Ariz., 25 March 1873. Entered service at:——. Birth: Monroe County, Ohio. Date of issue: 12 April 1875. Citation: Gallantry in engagements.

HILL, JAMES M.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company A, 5th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Turret Mountain, Ariz., 25 March 1873. Entered service at:——. Birth: Washington County, Pa. Date of issue: 12 August 1875. Citation: Gallantry in action.

Philippine Insurrection

SHIELS, GEORGE F.

Rank and organization: Surgeon, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Tuliahan River, Philippine Islands, 25 March 1899. Entered service at: California. Birth: California. Date of issue: 22 November 1906. Citation: Voluntarily exposed himself to the fire of the enemy and went with 4 men to the relief of 2 native Filipinos Iying wounded about 150 yards in front of the lines and personally carried one of them to a place of safety.

Vietnam.

*DOANE, STEPHEN HOLDEN

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Hau Nghia Province, Republic of Vietnam, 25 March 1969. Entered service at: Albany, N.Y. Born: 13 October 1947, Beverely, Mass. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. First Lt. Doane was serving as a platoon leader when his company, engaged in a tactical operation, abruptly contacted an enemy force concealed in protected bunkers and trenches. Three of the leading soldiers were pinned down by enemy crossfire. One was seriously wounded. After efforts of 1 platoon to rescue these men had failed, it became obvious that only a small group could successfully move close enough to destroy the enemy position and rescue or relieve the trapped soldiers, 1st Lt. Doane, although fully aware of the danger of such an action, crawled to the nearest enemy bunker and silenced it. He was wounded but continued to advance to a second enemy bunker. As he prepared to throw a grenade, he was again wounded. Undaunted, he deliberately pulled the pin on the grenade and lunged with it into the enemy bunker, destroying this final obstacle. 1st Lt. Doane’s supreme act enabled his company to rescue the trapped men without further casualties. The extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by this officer were an inspiration to his men and are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army .

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 24 March

There are five Medals awarded for actions on this day. All are in the modern era and all were posthumous awards.

World War II. The Germans may be collapsing like a shattered window – but there were many sharp slivers of glass. Private First Class Stryker, along with Sergeant Robert Stryker who earned a Medal of Honor in Vietnam, are the namesakes of the Stryker series of combat vehicles.

*PETERS, GEORGE J.

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company G, 507th Parachute Infantry, 17th Airborne Division. Place and date: Near Fluren, Germany, 24 March 1945. Entered service at: Cranston, R.I. Birth: Cranston, R.I. G.O. No.: 16, 8 February 1946. Citation: Pvt. Peters, a platoon radio operator with Company G, made a descent into Germany near Fluren, east of the Rhine. With 10 others, he landed in a field about 75 yards from a German machinegun supported by riflemen, and was immediately pinned down by heavy, direct fire. The position of the small unit seemed hopeless with men struggling to free themselves of their parachutes in a hail of bullets that cut them off from their nearby equipment bundles, when Pvt. Peters stood up without orders and began a l-man charge against the hostile emplacement armed only with a rifle and grenades. His single-handed assault immediately drew the enemy fire away from his comrades. He had run halfway to his objective, pitting rifle fire against that of the machinegun, when he was struck and knocked to the ground by a burst. Heroically, he regained his feet and struggled onward. Once more he was torn by bullets, and this time he was unable to rise. With gallant devotion to his self-imposed mission, he crawled directly into the fire that had mortally wounded him until close enough to hurl grenades which knocked out the machinegun, killed 2 of its operators, and drove protecting riflemen from their positions into the safety of a woods. By his intrepidity and supreme sacrifice, Pvt. Peters saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers and made it possible for them to reach their equipment, organize, and seize their first objective.

*STRYKER, STUART S.

Rank and organization. Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company E, 513th Parachute Infantry, 17th Airborne Division. Place and date: Near Wesel, Germany, 24 March 1945. Entered service at: Portland, Oreg. Birth. Portland, Oreg. G.O. No.: 117, 11 December 1945. Citation. He was a platoon runner, when the unit assembled near Wesel, Germany after a descent east of the Rhine. Attacking along a railroad, Company E reached a point about 250 yards from a large building used as an enemy headquarters and manned by a powerful force of Germans with rifles, machineguns, and 4 field pieces. One platoon made a frontal assault but was pinned down by intense fire from the house after advancing only 50 yards. So badly stricken that it could not return the raking fire, the platoon was at the mercy of German machine gunners when Pfc. Stryker voluntarily left a place of comparative safety, and, armed with a carbine, ran to the head of the unit. In full view of the enemy and under constant fire, he exhorted the men to get to their feet and follow him. Inspired by his fearlessness, they rushed after him in a desperate charge through an increased hail of bullets. Twenty-five yards from the objective the heroic soldier was killed by the enemy fusillades. His gallant and wholly voluntary action in the face of overwhelming firepower, however, so encouraged his comrades and diverted the enemy’s attention that other elements of the company were able to surround the house, capturing more than 200 hostile soldiers and much equipment, besides freeing 3 members of an American bomber crew held prisoner there. The intrepidity and unhesitating self-sacrifice of Pfc. Stryker were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.

Vietnam, three very tough men.

*BRYANT, WILLIAM MAUD

Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces. Place and date: Long Khanh Province, Republic of Vietnam, 24 March 1969. Entered service at: Detroit, Mich. Born: 16 February 1933, Cochran, Ga. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sfc. Bryant, assigned to Company A, distinguished himself while serving as commanding officer of Civilian Irregular Defense Group Company 321, 2d Battalion, 3d Mobile Strike Force Command, during combat operations. The battalion came under heavy fire and became surrounded by the elements of 3 enemy regiments. Sfc. Bryant displayed extraordinary heroism throughout the succeeding 34 hours of incessant attack as he moved throughout the company position heedless of the intense hostile fire while establishing and improving the defensive perimeter, directing fire during critical phases of the battle, distributing ammunition, assisting the wounded, and providing the leadership and inspirational example of courage to his men. When a helicopter drop of ammunition was made to re-supply the beleaguered force, Sfc. Bryant with complete disregard for his safety ran through the heavy enemy fire to retrieve the scattered ammunition boxes and distributed needed ammunition to his men. During a lull in the intense fighting, Sfc. Bryant led a patrol outside the perimeter to obtain information of the enemy. The patrol came under intense automatic weapons fire and was pinned down. Sfc. Bryant single-handedly repulsed 1 enemy attack on his small force and by his heroic action inspired his men to fight off other assaults. Seeing a wounded enemy soldier some distance from the patrol location, Sfc. Bryant crawled forward alone under heavy fire to retrieve the soldier for intelligence purposes. Finding that the enemy soldier had expired, Sfc. Bryant crawled back to his patrol and led his men back to the company position where he again took command of the defense. As the siege continued, Sfc. Bryant organized and led a patrol in a daring attempt to break through the enemy encirclement. The patrol had advanced some 200 meters by heavy fighting when it was pinned down by the intense automatic weapons fire from heavily fortified bunkers and Sfc. Bryant was severely wounded. Despite his wounds he rallied his men, called for helicopter gunship support, and directed heavy suppressive fire upon the enemy positions. Following the last gunship attack, Sfc. Bryant fearlessly charged an enemy automatic weapons position, overrunning it, and single-handedly destroying its 3 defenders. Inspired by his heroic example, his men renewed their attack on the entrenched enemy. While regrouping his small force for the final assault against the enemy, Sfc. Bryant fell mortally wounded by an enemy rocket. Sfc. Bryant’s selfless concern for his comrades, 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 upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

*COKER, RONALD L.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company M, 3d Battalion, 3d Marine Division (Rein), FMF. Place and date: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 24 March 1969. Entered service at: Denver, Colo. Born: 9 August 1947, Alliance, Nebr. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifleman with Company M in action against enemy forces. While serving as point man for the 2d Platoon, Pfc. Coker was leading his patrol when he encountered 5 enemy soldiers on a narrow jungle trail. Pfc. Coker’s squad aggressively pursued them to a cave. As the squad neared the cave, it came under intense hostile fire, seriously wounding 1 marine and forcing the others to take cover. Observing the wounded man lying exposed to continuous enemy fire, Pfc. Coker disregarded his safety and moved across the fire-swept terrain toward his companion. Although wounded by enemy small-arms fire, he continued to crawl across the hazardous area and skillfully threw a hand grenade into the enemy positions, suppressing the hostile fire sufficiently to enable him to reach the wounded man. As he began to drag his injured comrade toward safety, a grenade landed on the wounded marine. Unhesitatingly, Pfc. Coker grasped it with both hands and turned away from his wounded companion, but before he could dispose of the grenade it exploded. Severely wounded, but undaunted, he refused to abandon his comrade. As he moved toward friendly lines, 2 more enemy grenades exploded near him, inflicting still further injuries. Concerned only for the safety of his comrade, Pfc. Coker, with supreme effort continued to crawl and pull the wounded marine with him. His heroic deeds inspired his fellow marines to such aggressive action that the enemy fire was suppressed sufficiently to enable others to reach him and carry him to a relatively safe area where he succumbed to his extensive wounds. Pfc. Coker’s indomitable courage, inspiring initiative and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

*SINGLETON, WALTER K.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division. Place and date: Gio Linh District, Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 24 March 1967. Entered service at: Memphis, Tenn. Born: 7 December 1944, Memphis, Tenn. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Singleton’s company was conducting combat operations when the lead platoon received intense small arms, automatic weapons, rocket, and mortar fire from a well entrenched enemy force. As the company fought its way forward, the extremely heavy enemy fire caused numerous friendly casualties. Sensing the need for early treatment of the wounded, Sgt. Singleton quickly moved from his relatively safe position in the rear of the foremost point of the advance and made numerous trips through the enemy killing zone to move the injured men out of the danger area. Noting that a large part of the enemy fire was coming from a hedgerow, he seized a machinegun and assaulted the key enemy location, delivering devastating fire as he advanced. He forced his way through the hedgerow directly into the enemy strong point. Although he was mortally wounded, his fearless attack killed 8 of the enemy and drove the remainder from the hedgerow. Sgt. Singleton’s bold actions completely disorganized the enemy defense and saved the lives of many of his comrades. His daring initiative selfless devotion to duty and indomitable fighting spirit reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps, and his performance upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 23 March

There are three Medals awarded for actions on this day, one during the Civil War, one during World War II, and lastly, Vietnam. Not all posthumous awards are because the recipient died during the action that earned him the Medal. Some are because the recipient was killed in combat subsequent to the award. Some are because the award was so long in coming, that the indvidual died before the award was approved. Sometimes that’s paperwork. Sometimes, it’s an injustice. So it was with today’s posthumous award. An injustice.

Civil War. A Lieutenant Colonel of the 2d Maine Cavalry goes hunting.

SPURLING, ANDREW B

Citation: Advanced alone in the darkness beyond the picket line, came upon three of the enemy, fired upon them (his fire being returned), wounded two, and captured the whole party.

World War II. This award is a posthumous award because Staff Sergeant Carter died in 1963, prior to his being awarded the Medal in… 1999, as a part of the righting a wrong regarding the Army’s bad habit of downgrading awards for non-white troops during World War II. Staff Sergeant Carter gave the Army and the nation a lot more loyalty than he received in return. This link to the California State Military Museum is worth clicking to get a little window into Carter’s military career.

*CARTER, EDWARD A., Jr.

Citation: For extraordinary heroism in action on 23 March 1945, near Speyer, Germany. When the tank on which he was riding received heavy bazooka and small arms fire, Sergeant Carter voluntarily attempted to lead a three-man group across an open field. Within a short time, two of his men were killed and the third seriously wounded. Continuing on alone, he was wounded five times and finally forced to take cover. As eight enemy riflemen attempted to capture him, Sergeant Carter killed six of them and captured the remaining two. He then crossed the field using as a shield his two prisoners from which he obtained valuable information concerning the disposition of enemy troops. Staff Sergeant Carter’s extraordinary heroism was an inspiration to the officers and men of the Seventh Army Infantry Company Number 1 (Provisional) and exemplify the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.

Vietnam

FITZMAURICE, MICHAEL JOHN

Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Troop D, 2d Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division. Place and date: Khe Sanh, Republic of Vietnam, 23 March 1971. Entered service at: Jamestown, N. Dak. Born: 9 March 1950, Jamestown, N. Dak . Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Fitzmaurice, 3d Platoon, Troop D, distinguished himself at Khe Sanh. Sp4c. Fitzmaurice and 3 fellow soldiers were occupying a bunker when a company of North Vietnamese sappers infiltrated the area. At the onset of the attack Sp4c. Fitzmaurice observed 3 explosive charges which had been thrown into the bunker by the enemy. Realizing the imminent danger to his comrades, and with complete disregard for his personal safety, he hurled 2 of the charges out of the bunker. He then threw his flak vest and himself over the remaining charge. By this courageous act he absorbed the blast and shielded his fellow-soldiers. Although suffering from serious multiple wounds and partial loss of sight, he charged out of the bunker, and engaged the enemy until his rifle was damaged by the blast of an enemy hand grenade. While in search of another weapon, Sp4c. Fitzmaurice encountered and overcame an enemy sapper in hand-to-hand combat. Having obtained another weapon, he returned to his original fighting position and inflicted additional casualties on the attacking enemy. Although seriously wounded, Sp4c. Fitzmaurice refused to be medically evacuated, preferring to remain at his post. Sp4c. Fitzmaurice’s extraordinary heroism in action at the risk of his life contributed significantly to the successful defense of the position and resulted in saving the lives of a number of his fellow soldiers. These acts of heroism go above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect great credit on Sp4c. Fitzmaurice and the U.S. Army.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 22 March

There is only one award of the Medal for actions on this day – during Vietnam, and First Sergeant McNerney lived to receive his award.

Vietnam.  This 1SG was definitely not “in the rear with the gear.”

McNERNEY, DAVID H.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company A, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. place and date: polei Doc, Republic of Vietnam, 22 March 1967. Entered service at: Fort Bliss, Tex. Born: 2 June 1931, Lowell, Mass. Citation: 1st Sgt. McNerney distinguished himself when his unit was attacked by a North Vietnamese battalion near polei Doc. Running through the hail of enemy fire to the area of heaviest contact, he was assisting in the development of a defensive perimeter when he encountered several enemy at close range. He killed the enemy but was painfully injured when blown from his feet by a grenade. In spite of this injury, he assaulted and destroyed an enemy machinegun position that had pinned down 5 of his comrades beyond the defensive line. Upon learning his commander and artillery forward observer had been killed, he assumed command of the company. He adjusted artillery fire to within 20 meters of the position in a daring measure to repulse ??enemy assaults. When the smoke grenades used to mark the position were gone, he moved into a nearby clearing to designate the location to friendly aircraft. In spite of enemy fire he remained exposed until he was certain the position was spotted and then climbed into a tree and tied the identification panel to its highest branches. Then he moved among his men readjusting their position, encouraging the defenders and checking the wounded. As the hostile assaults slackened, he began clearing a helicopter landing site to evacuate the wounded. When explosives were needed to remove large trees, he crawled outside the relative safety of his perimeter to collect demolition material from abandoned rucksacks. Moving through a fusillade of fire he returned with the explosives that were vital to the clearing of the landing zone. Disregarding the pain of his injury and refusing medical evacuation 1st Sgt. McNerney remained with his unit until the next day when the new commander arrived. First Sgt. McNerney’s outstanding heroism and leadership were inspirational to his comrades. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 21 March

There are three Medals awarded either on this day (the first one) or for actions on this day.  The latter two are both posthumous awards.  The first is somewhat unique, essentially being a service award, vice a specific heroism award.

Interim Awards, 1920-1940

GREELY, ADOLPHUS W.

Rank and organization: Major General, U.S. Army, retired. Place and date: —-. Entered service at: Louisiana. Born: 27 March 1844, Newburyport, Mass. G.O. No.: 3, W.D., 1935. Act of Congress, 21 March 1935. Citation: For his life of splendid public service, begun on 27 March 1844, having enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army on 26 July 1861, and by successive promotions was commissioned as major general 10 February 1906, and retired by operation of law on his 64th birthday.

Vietnam

*HOSKING, CHARLES ERNEST, JR.

Rank and organization: Master Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company A, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. Place and date: Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam, 21 March 1967. Entered service at: Fort Dix, N.J. Born: 12 May 1924, Ramsey, N.J. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. M/Sgt. Hosking (then Sfc.), Detachment A-302, Company A, greatly distinguished himself while serving as company advisor in the III Corps Civilian Irregular Defense Group Reaction Battalion during combat operations in Don Luan District. A Viet Cong suspect was apprehended and subsequently identified as a Viet Cong sniper. While M/Sgt. Hosking was preparing the enemy for movement back to the base camp, the prisoner suddenly grabbed a hand grenade from M/Sgt. Hosking’s belt, armed the grenade, and started running towards the company command group which consisted of 2 Americans and 2 Vietnamese who were standing a few feet away. Instantly realizing that the enemy intended to kill the other men, M/Sgt. Hosking immediately leaped upon the Viet Cong’s back. With utter disregard for his personal safety, he grasped the Viet Cong in a “Bear Hug” forcing the grenade against the enemy soldier’s chest. He then wrestled the Viet Cong to the ground and covered the enemy’s body with his body until the grenade detonated. The blast instantly killed both M/Sgt. Hosking and the Viet Cong. By absorbing the full force of the exploding grenade with his body and that of the enemy, he saved the other members of his command group from death or serious injury. M/Sgt. Hosking’s risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in the highest tradition of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

*JOHNSTON, DONALD R.

Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company D, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. Place and date: Tay Ninh Province, Republic of Vietnam, 21 March 1969. Entered service at: Columbus, Ga. Born: 19 November 1947, Columbus, Ga. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Johnston distinguished himself while serving as a mortarman with Company D, at a fire support base in Tay Ninh Province. Sp4c. Johnston’s company was in defensive positions when it came under a devastating rocket and mortar attack. Under cover of the bombardment, enemy sappers broke through the defensive perimeter and began hurling explosive charges into the main defensive bunkers. Sp4c. Johnston and 6 of his comrades had moved from their exposed positions to 1 of the bunkers to continue their fight against the enemy attackers. As they were firing from the bunker, an enemy soldier threw 3 explosive charges into their position. Sensing the danger to his comrades, Sp4c. Johnston, with complete disregard for his safety, hurled himself onto the explosive charges, smothering the detonations with his body and shielding his fellow soldiers from the blast. His heroic action saved the lives of 6 of his comrades. Sp4c. Johnston’s concern for his fellow men at the cost of his life were in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 20 March

There are three Medals awarded for actions on this day, one during WWII and two during Vietnam. Two are posthumous, and the one living recipient is one of two Holders who live in Leavenworth, the other being Roger Donlon.

World War II

*VILLEGAS, YSMAEL R.

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company F, 127th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division. Place and date: Villa Verde Trail, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 20 March 1945. Entered service at: Casa Blanca, Calif. Birth: Casa Blanca, Calif. G.O. No.: 89, 19 October 1945. Citation: He was a squad leader when his unit, in a forward position, clashed with an enemy strongly entrenched in connected caves and foxholes on commanding ground. He moved boldly from man to man, in the face of bursting grenades and demolition charges, through heavy machinegun and rifle fire, to bolster the spirit of his comrades. Inspired by his gallantry, his men pressed forward to the crest of the hill. Numerous enemy riflemen, refusing to flee, continued firing from their foxholes. S/Sgt. Villegas, with complete disregard for his own safety and the bullets which kicked up the dirt at his feet, charged an enemy position, and, firing at point-blank range killed the Japanese in a foxhole. He rushed a second foxhole while bullets missed him by inches, and killed 1 more of the enemy. In rapid succession he charged a third, a fourth, a fifth foxhole, each time destroying the enemy within. The fire against him increased in intensity, but he pressed onward to attack a sixth position. As he neared his goal, he was hit and killed by enemy fire. Through his heroism and indomitable fighting spirit, S/Sgt. Villegas, at the cost of his life, inspired his men to a determined attack in which they swept the enemy from the field.

Vietnam. Chuck Hagemeister subsequently took a commission as an armor officer. He’s one of the Holders I know, personally, along with Roger Donlon.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 19 March

There are ten Medals awarded for actions on this day, running from the Civil War to Vietnam.  Two are posthumous awards.

Civil War, and a fight at Bentonville, North Carolina, near the end of the war.

ANDERSON, PETER

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 31st Wisconsin Infantry. Place and date: At Bentonville, N.C., 19 March 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Lafayette County, Wis. Date of issue: 16 June 1865. Citation: Entirely unassisted, brought from the field an abandoned piece of artillery and saved the gun from falling into the hands of the enemy.

CLUTE, GEORGE W.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company I, 14th Michigan Infantry. Place and date: At Bentonville, N.C., 19 March 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Marathon, Mich. Date of issue: 26 August 1898. Citation: In a charge, captured the flag of the 40th North Carolina (C.S.A.), the flag being taken in a personal encounter with an officer who carried and defended it.

DOUGALL, ALLAN H.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant and Adjutant, 88th Indiana Infantry. Place and date: At Bentonville, N.C., 19 March 1865. Entered service at: New Haven, Allen County, Ind. Birth: Scotland. Date of issue: 16 February 1897. Citation: In the face of a galling fire from the enemy he voluntarily returned to where the color bearer had fallen wounded and saved the flag of his regiment from capture.

PLANT, HENRY E.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company F, 14th Michigan Infantry. Place and date: At Bentonville, N.C., 19 March 1865. Entered service at: Cockery, Mich. Birth: Oswego County, N.Y. Date of issue: 27 April 1896. Citation: Rushed into the midst of the enemy and rescued the colors, the color bearer having fallen mortally wounded.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 18 March

There are five Medals earned for actions on this day (there is also one that covers this day which will appear tomorrow).  All five were earned during World War II, and four were posthumous.  One posthumous award, that to Corporal Wilkin, is a posthumous award not because he died while earning it, but died one month later, in fighting at the absolute end of the war in Europe.

World War II

*MATHIS, JACK W. (Air Mission)

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 359th Bomber Squadron, 303d Bomber Group. Place and date: Over Vegesack, Germany, 18 March 1943. Entered service at: San Angelo, Tex. Born: 25 September 1921, San Angelo, Tex. G.O. No.: 38, 12 July 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy over Vegesack, Germany, on 18 March 1943. 1st Lt. Mathis, as leading bombardier of his squadron, flying through intense and accurate antiaircraft fire, was just starting his bomb run, upon which the entire squadron depended for accurate bombing, when he was hit by the enemy antiaircraft fire. His right arm was shattered above the elbow, a large wound was torn in his side and abdomen, and he was knocked from his bomb sight to the rear of the bombardier’s compartment. Realizing that the success of the mission depended upon him, 1st Lt. Mathis, by sheer determination and willpower, though mortally wounded, dragged himself back to his sights, released his bombs, then died at his post of duty. As the result of this action the airplanes of his bombardment squadron placed their bombs directly upon the assigned target for a perfect attack against the enemy. 1st Lt. Mathis’ undaunted bravery has been a great inspiration to the officers and men of his unit.

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