Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Korean War - U.S. Army

Reginald Benjamin Desiderio

  • Rank: Captain
  • Conflict/Era: Korean War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company E, 27th Infantry Regiment,
    25th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: November 27, 1950
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Ipsok, Korea
Capt. Desiderio distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the repeated risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. His company was given the mission of defending the command post of a task force against an enemy breakthrough. After personal reconnaissance during darkness and under intense enemy fire, he placed his men in defensive positions to repel an attack. Early in the action he was wounded, but refused evacuation and despite enemy fire continued to move among his men checking their positions and making sure that each element was prepared to receive the next attack. Again wounded, he continued to direct his men. By his inspiring leadership he encouraged them to hold their position. In the subsequent fighting when the fanatical enemy succeeded in penetrating the position, he personally charged them with carbine, rifle, and grenades, inflicting many casualties until he himself was mortally wounded. His men, spurred on by his intrepid example, repelled this final attack. Capt. Desiderio's heroic leadership, courageous and loyal devotion to duty, and his complete disregard for personal safety reflect the highest honor on him and are in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the U.S. Army.
Medal of Honor Recipient Reginald B. Desiderio
Medal of Honor Recipient Reginald B. Desiderio
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Gilroy, Santa Clara County, California
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: June 21, 1951
    The Pentagon, presented by Gen. Omar N. Bradley to his Widow
  • Born: September 12, 1912, Clairton, Allegheny County, PA, United States
  • Died: November 27, 1950, Korea
  • Buried: San Francisco National Cemetery (MH) (OS20-128-30), San Francisco, CA, United States

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