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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Korean War - U.S. Army

David Monroe Smith

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: Korean War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company E, 9th Infantry Regiment,
    2d Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 1, 1950
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Yongsan, Korea
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 five 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.
Medal of Honor Recipient David M. Smith
Medal of Honor Recipient David M. Smith
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Livingston, Rockcastle County, Kentucky
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: August 14, 1952
    The Pentagon, presented by Gen. Omar N. Bradley to his Mother
  • Born: November 10, 1926, Livingston, Rockcastle County, KY, United States
  • Died: September 1, 1950, Yongsan, Korea
  • Buried: Smith Cemetery on the Hill Ponder (MH), Livingston, KY, United States

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