Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Korean War - U.S. Navy

John Edward Kilmer

  • Rank: Hospital Corpsman
  • Conflict/Era: Korean War
  • Unit/Command:
    Attached to duty as a medical corpsman with a Marine rifle company,
    1st Marine Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: August 13, 1952
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Korea
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against enemy aggressor forces. With his company engaged in defending a vitally important hill position well forward of the main line of resistance during an assault by large concentrations of hostile troops, HC Kilmer repeatedly braved intense enemy mortar, artillery, and sniper fire to move from one position to another, administering aid to the wounded and expediting their evacuation. Painfully wounded himself when struck by mortar fragments while moving to the aid of a casualty, he persisted in his efforts and inched his way to the side of the stricken marine through a hail of enemy shells falling around him. Undaunted by the devastating hostile fire, he skillfully administered first aid to his comrade and, as another mounting barrage of enemy fire shattered the immediate area, unhesitatingly shielded the wounded man with his body. Mortally wounded by flying shrapnel while carrying out this heroic action, HC Kilmer, by his great personal valor and gallant spirit of self-sacirfice in saving the life of a comrade, served to inspire all who observed him. His unyielding devotion to duty in the face of heavy odds reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for another.
Medal of Honor Recipient John E. Kilmer
Medal of Honor Recipient John E. Kilmer
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Houston, Harris County, Texas
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: July 8, 1953
    The Pentagon, presented by Sec. of the Navy Robert B. Anderson to his Mother, Mrs. Lois B. Kilmer
  • Born: August 15, 1930, Highland Park, Lake County, IL, United States
  • Died: August 13, 1952, Korea
  • Buried: San Jose Burial Park (MH) (1-9-349-6), San Antonio, TX, United States

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