Jump to content

1st Lt. Peter H Monfore, 2nd ID, DSC, KIA


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone, today this uniform came in of which I am proud to be its new caretaker. The dealer got it directly from the family who confirmed the story and ID.

 

1st Lt. Peter Howland Monfore

Co. L, 3rd Bn, 23rd IR, 2nd ID

West Point class of 1950

Born August 10, 1923 in South Dakota

 

Recommended for the Medal of Honor

Awarded

Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, National Defense, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal, Korean Presidential Citation, Cross de Guerre

 

There is much written on Monfore that I found. He enlisted in the Navy before receiving a commission to West Point and transferring. He led a number of Christian Groups, played football, and boxed. According to the West Point record

 

“He was admired and loved by all who knew or came in contact with him, and they were many, for when the news of his tragic death became known, hundreds of letters of sympathy, praise and comfort came pouring in from all over the nation and abroad. We marveled at how many had been affected by his personality, unselfishness, kindness, helpfulness, sportsmanship, leadership, honesty, integrity, thoughtfulness, love of God, and love for his fellow men, which were all displayed with modesty and humility.”

 

Following graduation, Monfore chose the Far East for his tour of duty and left for Korea in August of 1950. In three days he received his first wounds while leading a platoon of E company, 23rd IR. After three weeks' hospitalization and convalesence he returned to the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Division, and served with it in various capacities, such as platoon leader, regimental liaison officer, etc. Twice he turned down opportunities to become Matthew Ridgeway’s personal Aide de Camp as he preferred to lead his soldiers from the front claiming “It was the best job in the whole Army.”

 

Monfore was given command of L company after recovering and served with the 2nd Division throughout every campaign in Korea. An ardent and inspiring leader, Monfore gained the respect of every soldier in his command and the officers above him. He turned L company into one of the best outfits of the 2nd Division according to commanders and was deeply loved by every man under him.

 

Peter was a member of the Christian Military Men's Committee, and their first member to be killed. This is the spiritual report of his life as written by a member:

 

"Several months previous to his death, Lieut. Monfore had sent us the names of his friends and military associates who were either unsaved or needing the Lord Jesus Christ, or Christians in need of spiritual encouragement. From that time on a regular prayer program for the men has been begun and Gospel messages designed to meet their individual needs sent to them, that witness shall result in their salvation. 'For none of us liveth to himself, and no mail dieth unto himself, for whether we live, we live unto the Lord and whether we die, we die unto the Lord, whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lords.' Romans 14:7-8. The eternal truth of this statement of God's word is beautifully illustrated in the life and death of Lieut. Peter Howland Monfore. How gloriously true are God's words, 'He being dead, yet Speaketh.'

 

Peter was awarded the Cross de Guerre by General Monclar, Commander of the French UN forces for leading the assault which saved an entire French Battalion cut off from the rest of the Allied forces.

 

To finish off this post, I will include his citation for the Distinguished Service Cross for actions which captured Hill 851 in the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge. His division superiors put him in for the Medal of Honor but it was diminished to the DSC. After reading his story and this citation, I believe Monfore was wronged. He was the embodiment of the American fighting man.

 

“The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to First Lieutenant (Infantry) Peter Howland Monfore (ASN: 0-62499), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while commanding Company L, 3d Battalion, 23d Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division. First Lieutenant Monfore distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of Satae-ri, Korea, on the night of 18 - 19 September 1951. On that night, Lieutenant Monfore received orders to lead his company in an attack against a numerically superior hostile force occupying heavily fortified positions on a key terrain feature. On the morning of 19 September 1951, the friendly forces had fought its way, yard by yard, to its objective under the inspiring leadership of Lieutenant Monfore, who had consistently remained with the leading assault elements, exhorting his men onward. After reaching the objective, Lieutenant Monfore deployed his men in defensive positions in anticipation of the enemy counterattack which was inevitable. It began with a tremendous artillery and mortar barrage which inflicted many casualties among the already battered friendly force. Disregarding his own personal safety, Lieutenant Monfore constantly moved about the exposed terrain, calming his men and inspiring confidence. Immediately after the barrage abated, two battalions of the enemy launched a fanatic attack to regain the hill. For five and a half hours the battle raged with the friendly troops repeatedly hurling the enemy back. Realizing that the ammunition of his small force was practically exhausted, Lieutenant Monfore moved about the fire-swept terrain, gathering ammunition and weapons from both friendly and enemy casualties. At one point, he found a friendly gun crew dead in its emplacement. Without hesitation, he manned the machine-gun and poured a devastating volume of fire into the onrushing ranks of the enemy. When the ammunition of the friendly troops was almost depleted, he ordered them to withdraw. As he moved about the terrain in order to direct his men as they withdrew, Lieutenant Monfore was killed by enemy sniper fire.”

 

This is by far one of the most prized uniforms in my collection from a man whose story I will tell for years to come.

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

Camp and bridge named for him following his death

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

It is still preliminary, but I would like to create a full mannequin display for Lt Monfore, I haven’t dealt with Korean War much so any help would be appreciated. This is my first basic set up (I know pants should definitely be changed).

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190402/9a74a1afdd236d83e798e37ca099e8fd.jpg

GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

This is an incredible uniform - there's a lot of great material available for the 2d Division, so get reading.

 

I can't believe I missed you posting this! The only suggestion I have for your set up is to swap the pants for HBT or M43 trousers, not wool.

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

Rob

Exhausting & Dirty Work



Interested in buying identified or re-searchable Korean War uniforms, groupings, medals and more.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.