John E. Kilmer was born on 15 August 1930 in Highland Park, IL. At the time of action he was a Hospitalman, USN. His citation reads, “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against enemy aggressor forces on 13 August 1952. With his company engaged in defending a vitally important hill position well forward of the main line of resistance during an assault by large concentrations of hostile troops, Hospitalman
Kilmer repeatedly braved intense enemy mortar, artillery, and sniper fire to move from one position to another, administering aid to the wounded and expediting their evacuation. Painfully wounded himself when struck by mortar fragments while moving to the aid of a casualty, he persisted in his efforts and inched his way to the side of a stricken Marine through a hail of enemy shells falling around him. Undaunted by the devastating hostile fire, he skillfully
administered first aid to his comrade and, as another mounting barrage of enemy fire shattered the immediate area, unhesitatingly shielded the wounded man with his body. Mortally wounded by flying shrapnel while carrying out this heroic action, Hospitalman Kilmer, by his great personal valor and gallant spirit of self-sacrifice in saving the life of a comrade, served to inspire all who observed him. By his exceptional fortitude, determined efforts, and unyielding devotion to duty, Hospitalman Kilmer reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States naval service. He gallantly gave his life for another.”
John Kilmer is buried in San Jose Burial Park, San Antonio, TX (Lot 349, Block 9, Section 1, Grave 6).