Medal of Honor display recognizing logisticians unveiled at Pentagon
July 12, 2011
WASHINGTON (Aug 23, 2011) -- The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, G-4, unveiled a display July 12 recognizing logisticians who have been awarded the Medal of Honor since World War II.
The unveiling was particularly significant as the day marked 149 years from when President Lincoln signed the Army Medal of Honor into law.
Of all the military services, there have been 3,456 recipients. Since World War II, the Medal has become even more rare, awarded to only 860 recipients, six of those being logisticians.
"I feel very deeply about the heroics that these logisticians demonstrated," said Lt. Gen. Mitchell H. Stevenson, the deputy chief of staff, G-4, in his keynote address. "I think it is important that we tell their story of service and sacrifice."
The six Soldiers memorialized in this display are from all three branches of logistics -- quartermaster, ordnance and transportation. Three received the Medal for service during World War II, two during the Vietnam War, and one during the Korean War.
Stevenson decided to create the display to both honor these logisticians and inspire those serving today.
"When you need some inspiration," he said, "just read their citations, because this is our nation at its best."
The display, designed by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4 and fabricated by the Aberdeen Proving Ground Multimedia and Visual Information Services Center, can be found on the first floor of the Pentagon in the third corridor between rings C and D. A duplicate display will be installed in the U.S. Army Combined Armed Support Command Headquarters at Fort Lee, Va.
Logisticians awarded the Medal of Honor since World War II are:
T/5 Eric G. Gibson, Quartermaster, World War II
Near Isola Bella, Italy, on January 28, 1944, Technician 5th Grade Eric G. Gibson bravely led a squad of replacements through enemy fire. He destroyed four enemy positions, killed five German Soldiers and captured two others. Then T/5 Gibson secured the left flank of his company during an attack on a strongpoint. He was killed in action while engaging the enemy.
Sgt. Hulon B. Whittington, Ordnance, World War II
On July 29, 1944, during an enemy armored attack near Grimesnil, France, Sgt. Hulon B. Whittington assumed command of his platoon when the platoon leader and platoon sergeant became missing in action. Whittington mounted a tank, fired point blank and destroyed the leading German tank, which blocked all movement of the enemy convoy consisting of more than 100 vehicles. Whittington's actions inspired his unit to conduct a bayonet charge. When the medic became a casualty, Whittington personally administered first aid to his wounded Soldiers.
Pvt. George Watson, Quartermaster, World War II
Pvt. George Watson was aboard a ship off the coast of New Guinea on March 8, 1943, when the ship was attacked by Japanese bombers and had to be abandoned. Instead of saving himself, Watson stayed in the water for a prolonged time, courageously helping others. Weakened by his efforts, he was eventually dragged down by the sinking ship and drowned.
Lt. Col. John U.D. Page, Transportation, Korean War
Rather than leave when his mission was complete, Lt. Col. John U.D. Page, attached to the 52d Transportation Truck Battalion, chose to stay near the Chosin Resevoir and assist an isolated signal station. Between Nov. 29 and Dec. 10, 1950, Page rescued his driver by breaking up an ambush; created a tactical unit using Soldiers trapped with a Marine unit; exposed himself to enemy fire so casualties could be evacuated; and twice manned a machine gun on the rear deck of a tank and drove the enemy back. Page turned down a second opportunity to reach safety and, instead, returned to assist a departing convoy. When he charged the enemy ahead of the convoy, he was mortally wounded during hand-to-hand combat.
SP4 Larry G. Dahl, Transportation, Vietnam War
In An Khe, Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam on Feb. 23, 1971, Spc. 4th Class Larry G. Dahl's gun truck was sent with two others to assist in the defense of a convoy that had been ambushed by the enemy. The gun trucks entered the ambush area and immediately engaged the enemy. As the fighting subsided, an enemy soldier threw a hand grenade into Dahl's truck. Instantly realizing the great danger, Dahl called a warning to his companions and threw himself directly onto the grenade.
Sgt. William W. Seay, Transportation, Vietnam War
On Aug. 25, 1968, near Ap Nhi, Vietnam, Sgt. William W. Seay was on a resupply mission when his convoy was struck by North Vietnamese heavy weapons fire. Seay took up a defensive position and killed 10 Vietnamese soldiers. During the fighting, he left his protective cover twice to pick up a grenade and throw it back at the enemy, saving the lives of many fellow Soldiers. After returning to his position the second time, Seay continued to direct his Soldiers even though he was seriously wounded. Weak from the loss of blood and with his right hand immobilized, Seay stood up and fired his rifle, killing three North Vietnamese, before he was killed by a sniper's bullet.