Billie G. Kanell Medal of Honor citation

Army MOH CitationThe President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to




for service as set forth in the following


For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Private Billie Gene Kanell (ASN: RA-17317531), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company I, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Pyongyang, Korea, on 7 September 1951. A numerically superior hostile force had launched a fanatical assault against friendly positions, supported by mortar and artillery fire, when Private Kanell stood in his emplacement exposed to enemy observation and action and delivered accurate fire into the ranks of the assailants. An enemy grenade was hurled into his emplacement and Private Kanell threw himself upon the grenade, absorbing the blast with his body to protect two of his comrades from serious injury and possible death. A few seconds later another grenade was thrown into the emplacement and, although seriously wounded by the first missile, he summoned his waning strength to roll toward the second grenade and used his body as a shield to again protect his comrades. He was mortally wounded as a result of his heroic actions. His indomitable courage, sustained fortitude against overwhelming odds, and gallant self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry, and the United States Army.

Born: June 26, 1931 in Poplar Bluff, Mo…. Interred at Fairdealing Cemetery in Fairdealing, Mo.

Author: Men of Valor

Leave a Reply