Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Medal of Honor

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Lieutenant Harvey C. Barnum, Jr.


Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. When the company was suddenly pinned down by a hail of extremely accurate enemy fire and was quickly separated from the remainder of the battalion by over 500 meters of open and fire-swept ground, and casualties mounted rapidly. Lt. Barnum quickly made a hazardous reconnaissance of the area, seeking targets for his artillery. Finding the rifle company commander mortally wounded and the radio operator killed, he, with complete disregard for his safety, gave aid to the dying commander, then removed the radio from the dead operator and strapped it to himself. He immediately assumed command of the rifle company, and moving at once into the midst of the heavy fire, rallying and giving encouragement to all units, reorganized them to replace the loss of key personnel and led their attack on enemy positions from which deadly fire continued to come. His sound and swift decisions and his obvious calm served to stabilize the badly decimated units and his gallant example as he stood exposed repeatedly to point out targets served as an inspiration to all. Provided with 2 armed helicopters, he moved fearlessly through enemy fire to control the air attack against the firmly entrenched enemy while skillfully directing 1 platoon in a successful counterattack on the key enemy positions. Having thus cleared a small area, he requested and directed the landing of 2 transport helicopters for the evacuation of the dead and wounded. He then assisted in the mopping up and final seizure of the battalion's objective. His gallant initiative and heroic conduct reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.

Lt. Barnum: We humbly salute you and thank you for your service.

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Hat tip Home of Heroes

There are fewer than a hundred living MoH recipients today. Their names and their stories should not be forgotten. My mission is to honor one of those heroes here each week, and salute them for their courage and sacrifice. In the words of John Fitzgerald Kennedy:
“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors; the men it remembers.”


Cross posted at Say Anything

4 comments:

  1. Attention! The Marine in the photo is wearing a cover with "scrambled eggs" on the bill and oak leaves that must be silver. The man is not a Leiutenant. He is a Lieutenant COLONEL. Commonly referred to as a "Light" Colonel and addressed simply as "Colonel." He is three ranks above a lieutenant.

    Thank you for giving this matter it's due attention.

    As you were.

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  2. It is wonderful to hear about when our brave fighting men get the honor they are due.

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  3. He was a Lieutenant at the time he was recognized for his valor in the citation. The living recipients of the Medal of Honor stretch back to WWII. Many individuals did stay in the service and attained higher rank. The use of "then Lieutenant", Corporal, Sergeant, etc. would be more technically correct, as would "Ret." in many cases, but more cumbersome. We salute the young Lieutenant whose valor was honored as well as the Lt. Colonel he became and the man he is today.

    Also, I sometimes run a photo of the MoH recipient at the time of the award and sometimes more recent photos. That, too is a subjective choice of mine. This one is obviously a more recent photo.

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