Here are some pictures I took at a wonderful I attended on Memorial Day 2009. It was for the Medal of Honor Memorial Dedication being held at the University of Washington for the following UW Alumni:
Deming Bronson, 1LT, USA (1915)
This UW graduate won a Medal of Honor in World War I for capturing enemy prisoners near Eclisfontaine, France, in 1918. He was wounded by a hand grenade and a bullet and still led his unit to capture enemy positions. At the UW, he was a forestry major and played Husky football from 1912-1916 under legendary Coach Gil Dobie.
Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, Col., USMCGregory “Pappy” Boyington, Col., USMC (1934)
The Marines’ WWII ace, Boyington downed 28 enemy planes before being captured by the Japanese and spending the rest of the conflict in a prisoner of war camp. His squadron’s exploits became the basis for the 1970s TV series, Baa Baa Black Sheep.
Robert E. Galer, BGen, USMCRobert E. Galer, BGen, USMC (1935)
As a Marine Corps major in August and September of 1942, he repeatedly engaged Japanese aerial forces in combat, “individually shooting down 11 enemy bomber and fighter aircraft over a period of 29 days,” according to the text of his medal citation. Galer was himself shot down four times during his service in World War II and Korea. He retired as a brigadier general in 1957.
William Nakamura, PFC, USAWilliam Nakamura, PFC, USA (1941)
Twice on July 4, 1944, Private First Class William K. Nakamura singlehandedly attacked German machine gunners in Italy so his platoon could be freed from pinned-down positions. During his second effort, Nakamura was killed. He had volunteered for the Army after his family and other Japanese Americans on the West coast were forced to move to internment camps.
Bruce Crandall, Maj., USABruce Crandall, Maj., USA (1951-52)
For extraordinary heroism as a Flight Commander in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). On Nov. 14, 1965, despite the fact that his landing zone was still under relentless enemy fire, Major Crandall landed and supervised the loading of seriously wounded soldiers aboard his aircraft. His voluntary decision to land under the most extreme fire instilled in the other pilots the will and spirit to continue to land their own aircraft.
John D. "Bud" Hawk, Sgt., USAJohn D. “Bud” Hawk, Sgt., USA (1952)
Army Sgt. Hawk was wounded on August 20, 1944, in France when the German army was trying to escape its encirclement following the Normandy invasion. A portion of his medal citation reads, “Sgt. Hawk’s fearless initiative and heroic conduct, even while suffering from a painful wound, was in large measure responsible for crushing two desperate attempts of the enemy to escape from the Falaise Pocket and for taking more than 500 prisoners.”
Archie Van Winkle, Col., USMCArchie Van Winkle, Col., USMC (1961)
Van Winkle was awarded the Medal of Honor for action in Korea. On November 2, 1950, Van Winkle led a daring charge through withering enemy fire during which a bullet shattered his arm and an enemy hand grenade exploded against his chest. Though severely wounded, he refused to be evacuated, and continued to shout orders and encouragement to his men while lying on the ground weak from loss of blood. His heroic leadership enabled the outnumbered platoon to repulse a fanatical enemy attack.
Robert Leisy, 2LT, USARobert Leisy, 2LT, USA (1968)
He served as a 2nd Lt. in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. During an engagement in Phuoc Long Province, Leisy’s unit was ambushed by a far larger force of North Vietnamese soldiers. He shielded his men from a rocket grenade attack and died of the wounds on Dec. 2, 1969. He was 24.
Sixteen Medal of Honor recipients were on hand for the Dedication of UW’s Medal of Honor Memorial. They are:
MSG John Baker (USA-ret)
COL Bruce Crandall (USA-ret)
MG Patrick Henry Brady (USA-ret)
MAJ Drew D. Dix (USA-ret)
Col James Fleming (USAF-ret)
SP4 Michael J. Fitzmaurice (USA)
COL Robert Howard (USA-ret)
CPT Arthur Jackson (USAR-ret)
SgtMaj Allan Kellogg (USMC-ret)
SP4 Thomas Kinsman (USA)
COL Walter Joseph Marm (USA-ret)
SSG Hiroshi H. Miyamura (USA)
LT Thomas R. Norris (USN-ret)
MSG Wilburn Ross (USA-ret)
Col Leo Thorsness (USAF-ret)
Col Jay Vargas (USMC-ret)
Afterwards, they had a 'meet-and-greet' where 13 of the MOH recipients stayed to sign autographs and meet their adoring admirers. I personally shook hands and thanked each and everyone of them for their sacrifice and service on behalf of our grateful nation. One of the defining moments of my life.
UW Medal of Honor Memorial
Edited by Brig, 26 June 2014 - 09:18 AM.