Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 7 September

 
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Jerry_CrumpMaster Sergeant Jerry Crump - a recipient of the Medal of Honor who earned it with the bayonet, and is one of two soldiers who, on this date in history, earned a unique distinction.   The Medal makes it's first appearance on this day in history during the period called "Interim Awards, 1871-1898." As is the case with most of the awards earned during the "Interim" periods it is a naval Medal, awarded for saving a drowning person or manning the boilers and engine rooms during typhoons and such.  Today, these actions would be recognized with the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, which is the sea service's highest award for peacetime valor.  Today is unusual in that there are two Medals to soldiers who jumped on grenades - and lived to receive their Medals.
KING, HUGH
Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1845, Ireland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 176, 9 July 1872. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Iroquois, Delaware River, 7 September 1871. Jumping overboard at the imminent risk of his life, King rescued one of the crew of that vessel from drowning.  
The Medal next appears in World War II, near Besancon, France, and a Tech 5 with some serious skills as a pistolero - and a rare Medal recipient - a soldier who jumped on a grenade and lived to receive his Medal.
MAXWELL, ROBERT D.
Rank and organization: Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army, 7th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Besancon, France, 7 September 1944. Entered service at: Larimer County, Colo. Birth: Boise, Idaho. G.O. No.: 24, 6 April 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 7 September 1944, near Besancon, France. Technician 5th Grade Maxwell and 3 other soldiers, armed only with .45 caliber automatic pistols, defended the battalion observation post against an overwhelming onslaught by enemy infantrymen in approximately platoon strength, supported by 20mm. flak and machinegun fire, who had infiltrated through the battalion's forward companies and were attacking the observation post with machinegun, machine pistol, and grenade fire at ranges as close as 10 yards. Despite a hail of fire from automatic weapons and grenade launchers, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell aggressively fought off advancing enemy elements and, by his calmness, tenacity, and fortitude, inspired his fellows to continue the unequal struggle. When an enemy hand grenade was thrown in the midst of his squad, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell unhesitatingly hurled himself squarely upon it, using his blanket and his unprotected body to absorb the full force of the explosion. This act of instantaneous heroism permanently maimed Technician 5th Grade Maxwell, but saved the lives of his comrades in arms and facilitated maintenance of vital military communications during the temporary withdrawal of the battalion's forward headquarters.  
As has been the case here in late August and early September, we find ourselves once again in Korea - where, regardless of of the year - this time of year was a focus of hard, and sometimes desperate, combat, and we open with our second soldier to jump on a grenade today - and live.
CRUMP, JERRY K.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company L, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Chorwon, Korea, 6 and 7 September 1951. Entered service at: Forest City, N.C. Born: 18 February 1933, Charlotte, N.C. G.O. No.: 68, 11 July 1952. Citation. Cpl. Crump, a member of Company L, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. During the night a numerically superior hostile force launched an assault against his platoon on Hill 284, overrunning friendly positions and swarming into the sector. Cpl. Crump repeatedly exposed himself to deliver effective fire into the ranks of the assailants, inflicting numerous casualties. Observing 2 enemy soldiers endeavoring to capture a friendly machine gun, he charged and killed both with his bayonet, regaining control of the weapon. Returning to his position, now occupied by 4 of his wounded comrades, he continued his accurate fire into enemy troops surrounding his emplacement. When a hostile soldier hurled a grenade into the position, Cpl. Crump immediately flung himself over the missile, absorbing the blast with his body and saving his comrades from death or serious injury. His aggressive actions had so inspired his comrades that a spirited counterattack drove the enemy from the perimeter. Cpl. Crump's heroic devotion to duty, indomitable fighting spirit, and willingness to sacrifice himself to save his comrades reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry and the U.S. Army. *KANELL, BILLIE G. Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company I, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Pyongyang, Korea, 7 September 1951. Entered service at: Poplar Bluff, Mo. Born: 26 June 1931, Poplar Bluff, Mo. G.O. No.: 57, 13 June 1952. Citation: Pvt. Kanell, a member of Company I, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. A numerically superior hostile force had launched a fanatical assault against friendly positions, supported by mortar and artillery fire, when Pvt. Kanell stood in his emplacement exposed to enemy observation and action and delivered accurate fire into the ranks of the assailants. An enemy grenade was hurled into his emplacement and Pvt. Kanell threw himself upon the grenade, absorbing the blast with his body to protect 2 of his comrades from serious injury and possible death. A few seconds later another grenade was thrown into the emplacement and, although seriously wounded by the first missile, he summoned his waning strength to roll toward the second grenade and used his body as a shield to again protect his comrades. He was mortally wounded as a result of his heroic actions. His indomitable courage, sustained fortitude against overwhelming odds, and gallant self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry, and the U.S. Army. *PORTER, DONN F. Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company G, 14th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Mundung-ni Korea, 7 September 1952. Entered service at: Baltimore, Md. Born: 1 March 1931, Sewickley, Pa. G.O. No.: 64, 18 August 1953. Citation: Sgt. Porter, a member of Company G, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. Advancing under cover of intense mortar and artillery fire, 2 hostile platoons attacked a combat outpost commanded by Sgt. Porter, destroyed communications, and killed 2 of his 3-man crew. Gallantly maintaining his position, he poured deadly accurate fire into the ranks of the enemy, killing 15 and dispersing the remainder. After falling back under a hail of fire, the determined foe reorganized and stormed forward in an attempt to overrun the outpost. Without hesitation, Sgt. Porter jumped from his position with bayonet fixed and, meeting the onslaught and in close combat, killed 6 hostile soldiers and routed the attack. While returning to the outpost, he was killed by an artillery burst, but his courageous actions forced the enemy to break off the engagement and thwarted a surprise attack on the main line of resistance. Sgt. Porter's incredible display of valor, gallant self-sacrifice, and consummate devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and uphold the noble traditions of the military service.  
Lastly, we find ourselves in the Phu My District of Vietnam, in 1970 and a Staff Sergeant so focused on his mission that he didn't take the time to extinguish his burning uniform, and then, having defeated the ambush, died trying to save one of his soldiers from a burning vehicle.
*ENGLISH, GLENN H., JR.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company E, 3d Battalion, ~03 Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade. Place and date: Phu My District, Republic of Vietnam, 7 September 1970. Entered service at: Philadelphia, Pa. Born: 23 April 1940, Altoona, Pa. Citation: S/Sgt. English was riding in the lead armored personnel carrier in a 4-vehicle column when an enemy mine exploded in front of his vehicle. As the vehicle swerved from the road, a concealed enemy force waiting in ambush opened fire with automatic weapons and anti-tank grenades, striking the vehicle several times and setting it on fire. S/Sgt. English escaped from the disabled vehicle and, without pausing to extinguish the flames on his clothing, rallied his stunned unit. He then led it in a vigorous assault, in the face of heavy enemy automatic weapons fire, on the entrenched enemy position. This prompt and courageous action routed the enemy and saved his unit from destruction. Following the assault, S/Sgt. English heard the cries of 3 men still trapped inside the vehicle. Paying no heed to warnings that the ammunition and fuel in the burning personnel carrier might explode at any moment, S/Sgt. English raced to the vehicle and climbed inside to rescue his wounded comrades. As he was lifting 1 of the men to safety, the vehicle exploded, mortally wounding him and the man he was attempting to save. By his extraordinary devotion to duty, indomitable courage, and utter disregard for his own safety, S/Sgt. English saved his unit from destruction and selflessly sacrificed his life in a brave attempt to save 3 comrades. S/Sgt. English's conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the cost of his life were an inspiration to his comrades and are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.  
*Asterisks indicate a posthumous award. (John Donovan is a Legionnaire with the Department of Kansas with service in the U.S. Army. He blogs at his own website The Castle Argghhh!)
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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.