Friday, October 7, 2011

Navy Medicine's Medal of Honor Recipients

The Medal of Honor was established by Joint Resolution of Congress, 12 July 1862 (amended by acts 9 July 1918 and 25 July 1963). The Medal of Honor is awarded by the President in the name of Congress to a person who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The deed performed must have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life. Incontestable proof of the performance of the service will be exacted and each recommendation for the award of this decoration will be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.

The medal was originally awarded to petty officers, seamen, landsmen and marines for gallantry in action and other seaman like qualities (such as the saving of lives). Officers were not eligible until March 3, 1915, but some awards were made retroactive to earlier campaigns. An Act of Congress on August 7, 1942 established the Medal of Honor as a combat award only. It is the highest award for gallantry that the Navy bestows.

The following is a list of the 28 Medal of Honor recipients from the Navy Medical Department.

Boxer Rebellion (July 1900)
Hospital Apprentice Robert H. Stanley, USN

USS Bennington, San Diego (July 1905)
Hospital Steward William S. Shacklette, USN

Moro Uprising, Basilan Island, The Philippines (September 1911)
Hospital Steward Fred H. McGuire, USN

Vera Cruz, Mexican Campaign (April 1914)
Surgeon Middleton S. Elliot, MC, USN
Surgeon Cary D. Langhorne, MC, USN
Hospital Apprentice William Zuiderveld, USN

World War I (U.S involvement: April 1917-November 1918)
PhM1c John H. Balch, USN
LT Joel T. Boone, MC, USN
HA1c David E. Hayden, USN
LCDR Alexander G. Lyle, DC, USN
LTJG Weedon E. Osborne, DC, USN*
LT Orlando H. Petty, MC, USN

World War II (U.S. involvement: December 1941-September 1945)
HA1c Robert E. Bush, USNR
PhM2c William Halyburton, USNR*
HA1c Fred F. Lester, USNR*
PhM1c Francis Pierce, Jr., USN*
PhM2c George E. Wahlen, USNR
PhM3c Jack Williams, USNR*
PhM1C John H. Willis, USN*

Korean War (June 1950-July 1953)
HM3 Edward C. Benfold, USN*
HN William R. Charette, USN
HN Richard Dewert, USN*
HN Francis C. Hammond, USN*
HN John E. Kilmer, USN*

Vietnam War (August 1964-April 1975)
HM2 Donald E. Ballard, USN
HM3 Wayne M. Caron, USN*
HM3, Robert Ingram, USN
HM2 David Ray, USN*
*Denotes received posthumous award