Posted in Men of Valor

William E. Barber Medal of Honor citation

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

CAPTAIN

WILLIAM EARL BARBER

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Captain William Earl Barber (MCSN: 0-28331), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty and without detriment to the mission of his command in combat with the enemy in Korea., from 28 November to 2 December 1950, as Company Commander of Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces near the Chosin Reservoir, in North Korea. Assigned to defend a three-mile mountain pass along the division’s main supply line and commanding the only route of approach in the march from Yudam-ni to Hagaru-ri, Captain Barber took position with his battle-weary troops and, before nightfall, had dug in and set up a defense along the frozen, snow-covered hillside. When a force of estimated regimental strength savagely attacked during the night, inflicting heavy casualties and finally surrounding his position following a bitterly fought seven-hour conflict, Captain Barber, after repulsing the enemy gave assurance that he could hold if supplied by airdrops and requested permission to stand fast when orders were received by radio to fight his way back to a relieving force after two reinforcing units had been driven back under fierce resistance in their attempts to reach the isolated troops. Aware that leaving the position would sever contact with the 8,000 Marines trapped at Yudam-ni and jeopardize their chances of joining the 3,000 more awaiting their arrival in Hagaru-ri for the continued drive to the sea, he chose to risk loss of his command rather than sacrifice more men if the enemy seized control and forced a renewed battle to regain the position, or abandon his many wounded who were unable to walk. Although severely wounded in the leg in the early morning of the 29th, Captain Barber continued to maintain personal control, often moving up and down the lines on a stretcher to direct the defense and consistently encouraging and inspiring his men to supreme efforts despite the staggering opposition. Waging desperate battle throughout five days and six nights of repeated onslaughts launched by the fanatical aggressors, he and his heroic command accounted for approximately 1,000 enemy dead in this epic stand in bitter subzero weather, and when the company was relieved only two of his original 220 men were able to walk away from the position so valiantly defended against insuperable odds. His profound faith and courage, great personal valor, and unwavering fortitude were decisive factors in the successful withdrawal of the division from the deathtrap in the Chosin Reservoir sector and reflect the highest credit upon Captain Barber, his intrepid officers and men, and the United States Naval Service.


Born: Nov. 30, 1919, Dehart, Ky…. Enlisted in 1940, serving as a parachute instructor… Graduated Officer Candidate School in August 1943… Earned a Silver Star at Iwo Jima for rescuing two wounded Marines… Commanded Third Reconnaissance Battalion in Okinawa, 1962… Also served in Vietnam War, where he earned a Legion of Merit with Combat “V”…  Also awarded two Purple Hearts… Retired as Colonel in 1970… Departed Apr. 19, 2002… Interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

Posted in Men of Valor

Wilburn K. Ross Medal of Honor citation

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

PRIVATE

WILBURN KIRBY ROSS

ARMY

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private Wilburn Kirby Ross, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company G, 2d Battalion, 30th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division, in action near St. Jacques, France. At 11:30 a.m. on 30 October 1944, after his company had lost 55 out of 88 men in an attack on an entrenched, full-strength German company of elite mountain troops, Private Ross placed his light machinegun ten yards in advance of the foremost supporting riflemen in order to absorb the initial impact of an enemy counterattack. With machinegun and small-arms fire striking the earth near him, he fired with deadly effect on the assaulting force and repelled it. Despite the hail of automatic fire and the explosion of rifle grenades within a stone’s throw of his position, he continued to man his machinegun alone, holding off six more German attacks. When the eighth assault was launched, most of his supporting riflemen were out of ammunition. They took positions in echelon behind Private Ross and crawled up, during the attack, to extract a few rounds of ammunition from his machinegun ammunition belt. Private Ross fought on virtually without assistance and, despite the fact that enemy grenadiers crawled to within four yards of his position in an effort to kill him with hand grenades, he again directed accurate and deadly fire on the hostile force and hurled it back. After expending his last rounds, Private Ross was advised to withdraw to the company command post, together with eight surviving riflemen, but, as more ammunition was expected, he declined to do so. The Germans launched their last all-out attack, converging their fire on Private Ross in a desperate attempt to destroy the machinegun which stood between them and a decisive breakthrough. As his supporting riflemen fixed bayonets for a last-ditch stand, fresh ammunition arrived and was brought to Private Ross just as the advance assault elements were about to swarm over his position. He opened murderous fire on the oncoming enemy; killed 40 and wounded ten of the attacking force; broke the assault single-handedly, and forced the Germans to withdraw. Having killed or wounded at least 58 Germans in more than five hours of continuous combat and saved the remnants of his company from destruction, Private Ross remained at his post that night and the following day for a total of 36 hours. His actions throughout this engagement were an inspiration to his comrades and maintained the high traditions of the military service.


Born: May 12, 1922 in Strunk, Ky…. Drafted in 1942… Re-enlisted and fought in Korea, where he was seriously wounded… Retired as master sergeant in 1964… Departed May 9, 2017