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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

Elbert Luther Kinser

Details
  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company I, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines,
    1st Marine Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: May 4, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Okinawa Shima, Ryukyu Islands
Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while acting as leader of a rifle platoon, serving with Company I, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, in action against Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain, 4 May 1945. Taken under sudden, close attack by hostile troops entrenched on the reverse slope while moving up a strategic ridge along which his platoon was holding newly won positions, Sgt. Kinser engaged the enemy in a fierce hand-grenade battle. Quick to act when a Japanese grenade landed in the immediate vicinity, Sgt. Kinser unhesitatingly threw himself on the deadly missile, absorbing the full charge of the shattering explosion in his own body and thereby protecting his men from serious injury and possible death. Stouthearted and indomitable, he had yielded his own chance of survival that his comrades might live to carry on the relentless battle against the fanatic enemy. His courage, cool decision, and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Medal of Honor Recipient Elbert L. Kinser
Medal of Honor Recipient Elbert L. Kinser
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Tennessee
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: July 4, 1946
    Greenville, Tennessee, presented by Maj. Gen. Clifton B. Cates to his Parents
  • Born: October 21, 1922, Greeneville, Greene County, TN, United States
  • Died: May 4, 1945, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands
  • Buried: Solomon Lutheran Church Cemetery (PM) , Greeneville, TN, United States
 

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