Archie van Winkle’s Medal of Honor citation

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to

STAFF SERGEANT

ARCHIE VAN WINKLE

UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 2 November 1950, while serving as a platoon sergeant in Company B, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces near Sudong, Korea. Immediately rallying the men in his area after a fanatical and numerically superior enemy force penetrated the center of the line under cover of darkness and pinned down the platoon with a devastating barrage of deadly automatic weapons and grenade fire, Staff Sergeant Van Winkle boldly spearheaded a determined attack through withering fire against hostile frontal positions and, though he and all the others who charged with him were wounded, succeeded in enabling his platoon to gain the fire superiority and the opportunity to reorganize. Realizing that the left flank squad was isolated from the rest of the unit, he rushed through 40 yards of fierce enemy fire to reunite his troops despite an elbow wound which rendered one of his arms totally useless. Severely wounded a second time when a direct hit in the chest from a hostile hand grenade caused serious and painful wounds, he staunchly refused evacuation and continued to shout orders and words of encouragement to his depleted and battered platoon. Finally carried from his position unconscious from shock and from loss of blood, Staff Sergeant Van Winkle served to inspire all who observed him to heroic efforts in successfully repulsing the enemy attack. His superb leadership, valiant fighting spirit, and unfaltering devotion to duty in the face of heavy odds reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.


Born: March 17, 1925 in Juneau, Alaska… Fought at Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, and Peleliu before becoming an aircraft gunner earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Air Medals and two Purple Hearts… Decorated by Pres. Harry Truman at the White House on Feb. 6, 1951 and sworn in as a second lieutenant the following day… Also earned two Bronze Start Medals with the Combat “V” device during the Vietnam War… Retired as a colonel in 1974… Departed: May 20, 1986… Buried at sea

Author: Chris Carter

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