The Congressional Medal of Honor Society and Medal of Honor Foundation regret to announce the passing of Medal of Honor Recipient Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura.

Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Korean War - U.S. Marine Corps

Lewis George Watkins

Details
  • Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: Korean War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company I, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines,
    1st Marine Division (Rein)
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: October 7, 1952
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Korea
Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a guide of a rifle platoon of Company I, in action against enemy aggressor forces during the hours of darkness on the morning of 7 October 1952. With his platoon assigned the mission of retaking an outpost which had been overrun by the enemy earlier in the night, S/Sgt. Watkins skillfully led his unit in the assault up the designated hill. Although painfully wounded when a well-entrenched hostile force at the crest of the hill engaged the platoon with intense small-arms and grenade fire, he gallantly continued to lead his men. Obtaining an automatic rifle from one of the wounded men, he assisted in pinning down an enemy machine gun holding up the assault. When an enemy grenade landed among S/Sgt. Watkins and several other marines while they were moving forward through a trench on the hill crest, he immediately pushed his companions aside, placed himself in a position to shield them, and picked up the deadly missile in an attempt to throw it outside the trench. Mortally wounded when the grenade exploded in his hand, S/Sgt. Watkins, by his great personal valor in the face of almost certain death, saved the lives of several of his comrades and contributed materially to the success of the mission. His extraordinary heroism, inspiring leadership, and resolute spirit of self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Medal of Honor Recipient Lewis G. Watkins
Medal of Honor Recipient Lewis G. Watkins
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Seneca, Oconee County, South Carolina
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: September 9, 1953
    Marine Corps Barracks, Washington, D.C., presented by Vice Pres. Richard M. Nixon to his parents
  • Born: June 6, 1925, Seneca, Oconee County, SC, United States
  • Died: October 7, 1952, Korea
  • Buried: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) (Wall of the Missing), Honolulu, HI, United States
  • Location of Medal: Patriots Hall, Oconee Veterans Museum, Walhalla, SC
 

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