Medal of Honor roll call: Ernest E. West
Our Recipients of the 20th Century – US Army theme continues this month with a recipient from the war in Korea. Often referred to as the ‘forgotten conflict’, Korea today represents a true enigma in the general public’s imagination. I encourage you younger readers to dig deeper into the story of this war and understand its place in American history.
Remember: No sacrifice in the Cause of Freedom should ever be forgotten.
Make the most of your day!
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company L, 14th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Sataeri, Korea, 12 October 1952. Entered service at: Wurtland Ky. Born: 2 September 1931, Russell, Ky. G.O. No.: 7, 29 January i954.
Pfc. West distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. He voluntarily accompanied a contingent to locate and destroy a reported enemy outpost. Nearing the objective, the patrol was ambushed and suffered numerous casualties. Observing his wounded leader Iying in an exposed position, Pfc. West ordered the troops to withdraw, then braved intense fire to reach and assist him. While attempting evacuation, he was attacked by 3 hostile soldiers employing grenades and small-arms fire. Quickly shifting his body to shelter the officer, he killed the assailants with his rifle, then carried the helpless man to safety. He was critically wounded and lost an eye in this action. but courageously returned through withering fire and bursting shells to assist the wounded. While evacuating 2 comrades, he closed with and killed 3 more of the foe. Pfc. West’s indomitable spirit, consummate valor, and intrepid actions inspired all who observed him, reflect the highest credit on himself, and uphold the honored traditions of the military service.