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Stories of Sacrifice

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Korean War - U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

Harold Edward "speedy" Wilson

  • Rank: Technical Sergeant (Highest Rank: Chief Warrant Officer 4)
  • Conflict/Era: Korean War
  • Unit/Command:
    3d Platoon, Company G, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines,
    1st Marine Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: April 23, 1951
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Hill 902 near Hwachon Reservoir, Korea
For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as platoon sergeant of a rifle platoon attached to Company G, in action against enemy aggressor forces on the night from 23 to 24 April 1951. When the company outpost was overrun by the enemy while his platoon, firing from hastily constructed foxholes, was engaged in resisting the brunt of a fierce mortar, machinge-gun, grenade, and small-arms attack launched by hostile forces from high ground under cover of darkness, T/Sgt. Wilson braved intense fire to assist the survivors back into the line and to direct the treatment of casualties. Although twice wounded by gunfire, in the right arm and the left leg, he refused medical aid for himself and continued to move about among his men, shouting words of encouragement. After receiving further wounds in the head and shoulder as the attack increased in intensity, he again insisted upon remaining with his unit. Unable to use either arm to fire, and with mounting casualties among our forces, he resupplied his men with rifles and ammunition taken from the wounded. Personally reporting to his company commander on several occasions, he requested and received additional assistance when the enemy attack became even more fierce and, after placing the reinforcements in strategic positions in the line, directed effective fire until blown off his feet by the bursting of a hostile mortar round in his face. Dazed and suffering from concussion, he still refused medical aid and, despite weakness from loss of blood, moved from foxhole to foxhole, directing fire, resupplying ammunition, rendering first aid, and encouraging his men. By his heroic actions in the face of almost certain death, when the unit's ability to hold the disadvantageous position was doubtful, he instilled confidence in his troops, inspiring them to rally repeatedly and turn back the furious assaults. At dawn, after the final attack had been repulsed, he personally accounted for each man in his platoon before walking unassisted one-half mile to the aid station where he submitted to treatment. His outstanding courage, initiative, and skilled leadership in the face of overwhelming odds were contributing factors in the success of his company's mission and reflect the highest credit upon T/Sgt. Wilson and the U.S. Naval Service.
Medal of Honor Recipient Harold Edward "speedy" Wilson
Medal of Honor Recipient Harold Edward "speedy" Wilson
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 11, 1952
    The White House (Rose Garden), presented by Pres. Harry S. Truman
  • Born: December 5, 1921, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL, United States
  • Died: March 29, 1998, West Columbia, SC, United States
  • Buried: Woodridge Memorial Park Cemetery (MH) (2-191-1), Lexington, SC, United States

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