Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Korean War - U.S. Army

Benjamin F Wilson

  • Rank: First Lieutenant (rank at time of action: Master Sergeant)
  • Conflict/Era: Korean War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company I, 31st Infantry Regiment,
    7th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: June 5, 1951
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Hwach'on-Myon, Korea

1st Lt. Wilson distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. Company I was committed to attack and secure commanding terrain stubbornly defended by a numerically superior hostile force emplaced in well-fortified positions. When the spearheading element was pinned down by withering hostile fire, he dashed forward and, firing his rifle and throwing grenades, neutralized the position denying the advance, and killed four enemy soldiers manning submachine guns. After the assault platoon moved up, occupied the position, and a base of fire was established, he led a bayonet attack which reduced the objective and killed approximately 27 hostile soldiers. While friendly forces were consolidating the newly won gain, the enemy launched a counterattack and 1st Lt. Wilson, realizing the imminent threat of being overrun, made a determined lone-man charge, killing seven and wounding two of the enemy, and routing the remainder in disorder. After the position was orgainized, he led an assault carrying to approximately 15 yards of the final objective, when enemy fire halted the advance. He ordered the platoon to withdraw and, although painfully wounded in this action, remained to provide covering fire. During an ensuing counterattack, the commanding officer and 1st Platoon leader became casualties. Unhesitatingly, 1st Lt. Wilson charged the enemy ranks and fought valiantly, killing three enemy soldiers with his rifle before it was wrested from his hands, and annihilating four others with his entrenching tool. His courageous delaying action enabled his comrades to reorganize and effect an orderly withdrawal. While directing evacuation of the wounded, he suffered a second wound, but elected to remain on the position until assured that all of the men had reached safety. 1st Lt. Wilson's sustained valor and intrepid actions reflect utmost credit upon himself and uphold the honored traditions of the military service.

Medal of Honor Recipient Benjamin F. Wilson
Medal of Honor Recipient Benjamin F. Wilson
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Vashon, King County, Washington
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: September 7, 1954

    Army Hospital, Denver, CO, presented by Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • Born: June 2, 1922, Vashon, King County, WA, United States
  • Died: March 1, 1988, Honolulu, HI, United States
  • Buried: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) (MH) (A-1060-A), Honolulu, HI, United States

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