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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Korean War - U.S. Army

Cornelius H Charlton

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: Korean War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company C, 24th Infantry Regiment,
    25th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: June 2, 1951
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Chipo-ri, Korea

Sgt. Charlton, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. His platoon was attacking heavily defended hostile positions on commanding ground when the leader was wounded and evacuated. Sgt. Charlton assumed command, rallied the men, and spearheaded the assault against the hill. Personally eliminating two hostile positions and killing six of the enemy with his rifle fire and grenades, he continued up the slope until the unit suffered heavy casualties and became pinned down. Regrouping the men, he led them forward only to be again hurled back by a shower of grenades. Despite a severe chest wound, Sgt. Charlton refused medical attention and led a third daring charge which carried to the crest of the ridge. Observing that the remaining emplacement which had retarded the advance was situated on the reverse slope, he charged it alone, was again hit by a grenade but raked the position with a devastating fire which eliminated it and routed the defenders. The wounds received during his daring exploits resulted in his death, but his indomitable courage, superb leadership, and gallant self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry, and the military service.

Medal of Honor Recipient Cornelius H. Charlton
Medal of Honor Recipient Cornelius H. Charlton
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Bronx County, New York
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: March 12, 1952

    The Pentagon, presented by Sec. of the Army Frank C. Pace to his parents

  • Born: July 24, 1929, East Gulf, Raleigh County, WV, United States
  • Died: June 2, 1951, Chipo-ri, Korea
  • Buried: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA, United States
  • Location of Medal: National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

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