Cpl. Mitchell Red Cloud Jr.

By Franklin FisherNovember 23, 2014

Cpl. Mitchell red Cloud Jr.
Cpl. Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr., was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for his valor with the U.S. Army's 24th Infantry Division during the Korean War. Red Cloud also saw combat during World War II as a U.S. Marine, seeing action on Guadalcanal and Ok... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP RED CLOUD -- Camp Red Cloud, the U.S. Army installation in Uijeongbu that serves as headquarters for the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, is named for Cpl. Mitchell Red Cloud Jr., the Soldier whose fight-to-the-death valor in the Korean War was recognized with a posthumous Medal of Honor.

Red Cloud was killed in action against Chinese forces in North Korea in November, 1950, and was awarded the medal for "dauntless courage and gallant self-sacrifice."

He was from Wisconsin, a Native-American of the Ho-Chunk tribe, also known as the Winnebago, and a veteran of World War II combat in the Pacific. He saw action as a Marine on Guadalcanal and Okinawa. He was a sergeant when he left the Marines after World War II, but in 1948 returned to active duty, enlisting in the Army.

It was in the dark of night on November 5, 1950, that Red Cloud's unit, Company E, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, was positioned on the ridge of Hill 123 near Chonghyon, North Korea. Red Cloud was manning a listening post on the point of the ridge, out ahead of his company's main positions. He was armed with a Browning Automatic Rifle.

A Chinese assault force made a coordinated attack on Hill 123 and vicinity, and at least part of that force slipped up on Company E's position from the rear, caught many asleep, and killed them on the spot. Others they shot in the head.

Red Cloud gave Company E its first alarm from his position on the ridge and a group of Chinese burst suddenly from brush about 100 feet away and rushed him.

Red Cloud sprang up and with his rifle poured intense and accurate fire into the onrushing enemy.

He kept up this fire with "utter fearlessness," according to the citation, and when enemy rounds socked into his body he fell, and, refusing help, got himself up, wrapped an arm around a small tree, and continued his point-blank fire until he fell for the last time.

Later, American officers found Chinese dead in front of Red Cloud's body.

According to his Medal of Honor citation, Red Cloud's "heroic act stopped the enemy from overrunning his company's position and gained time for reorganization and evacuation of the wounded."

He was buried at a United Nations cemetery in Korea.

In April, 1951, Gen. Omar N. Bradley of World War II fame presented Red Cloud's posthumous Medal of Honor to Red Cloud's mother Lillian "Nellie" Red Cloud at a Pentagon ceremony. Bradley at the time was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In 1955 Red Cloud's body was exhumed, transported to Wisconsin, and interred at the Decorah Cemetery at Winnebago Mission in March of that year.

A few years later, on Armed Forces Day, May 18, 1957, the Army further recognized Red Cloud's valor by giving his name to one of its installations on the peninsula where he'd made his stand-to-the-death, the present-day Camp Red Cloud, in Uijeongbu, South Korea. The post is now headquarters of both the 2nd Infantry Division and U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud and Area I.

There has been other recognition over the years, including the naming of veterans posts and parks in his honor

And in 1999, the U.S. Navy named a newly commissioned Watson-class large, medium-speed Roll-on/Roll-off cargo ship for him: USNS Red Cloud (T-AKR-313). His daughter Annita Red Cloud, christened the ship at San Diego, Calif.

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