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List of living Medal of Honor recipients

President Barack Obama meets with recipients at the National Medal of Honor Day ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns on March 25, 2009

There are currently 72 living recipients of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is bestowed upon any member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States."[1]

Of the 72 living recipients, five earned their Medals of Honor in World War II, six in the Korean War, 50 in the Vietnam War, and eleven in the War in Afghanistan. Two earned their medal while serving in the U.S. Air Force, 48 in the U.S. Army, 14 in the U.S. Marine Corps, and eight in the U.S. Navy. The oldest recipient is Robert D. Maxwell, aged 96, whereas the youngest is Kyle Carpenter, aged 27. Two medal holders are still on active duty in the U.S. military, War in Afghanistan soldier William D. Swenson of the U.S. Army and Edward Byers of the U.S. Navy. Among the recipients are former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey and three retired generals: Patrick Henry Brady and Robert F. Foley of the Army and James E. Livingston of the Marine Corps.

Contents

Medal of HonorEdit

The Medal of Honor was created during the American Civil War and is the highest military decoration presented by the United States government to a member of its armed forces. The recipient must have distinguished themselves at the risk of their own life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an enemy of the United States. Due to the nature of this medal, it is commonly presented posthumously.[2]

World War IIEdit

During World War II 464 United States military personnel received the Medal of Honor, 266 (57.3%) of them posthumously. A total of 42 Medals of Honor were presented for action in just two battles – Fifteen for actions during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and 27 for actions during the Battle of Iwo Jima. A total of 21 (4.5% of all World War II Medals of Honor) were received by members of the all-Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, for actions in numerous battles across six different campaigns.[3] Additionally, the only Medal of Honor ever presented to a member of the United States Coast Guard was received for actions during this war.[4]

Image Name Branch Birth date and age Reference
  Coolidge, Charles H.Charles H. Coolidge Army (1921-08-04) August 4, 1921 (age 95) [5]
  Currey, Francis S.Francis S. Currey Army (1925-06-29) June 29, 1925 (age 91) [6]
  Jackson, Arthur J.Arthur J. Jackson Marine Corps (1924-10-18) October 18, 1924 (age 92) [7]
  Maxwell, Robert D.Robert D. Maxwell Army (1920-10-26) October 26, 1920 (age 96) [8]
  Williams, Hershel W.Hershel W. Williams Marine Corps (1923-10-02) October 2, 1923 (age 93) [9]

KoreaEdit

During the Korean War, 136 Medals of Honor were presented for bravery in action, 98 (72.1%) of them posthumously. As of 2017, six recipients were still living.[4]

Image Name Branch Birth date and age Reference
  Dewey, Duane E.Duane E. Dewey Marine Corps (1931-11-16) November 16, 1931 (age 85) [10]
  Hudner, Jr., Thomas J.Thomas J. Hudner, Jr. Navy (1924-08-31) August 31, 1924 (age 92) [11]
  Miyamura, Hiroshi H.Hiroshi H. Miyamura Army (1925-10-06) October 6, 1925 (age 91) [12]
  Rosser, Ronald E.Ronald E. Rosser Army (1929-10-24) October 24, 1929 (age 87) [13]
  Simanek, Robert E.Robert E. Simanek Marine Corps (1930-04-26) April 26, 1930 (age 87) [14]
  West, Ernest E.Ernest E. West Army (1931-09-02) September 2, 1931 (age 85) [9]

VietnamEdit

During the Vietnam War, 248 Medals of Honor were received, 156 (62.9%) of them posthumously. Of the living recipients who received their medals for actions in the Vietnam War, 50 are alive as of 2017.[15]

The first person to earn the Medal of Honor in this war was Roger Donlon who, on 6 July 1964, rescued and administered first aid to several wounded soldiers and led a group against an enemy force.[16]

Image Name Branch Birth date and age Reference
  Adkins, BennieBennie Adkins Army (1934-02-01) February 1, 1934 (age 83)
  Baca, JohnJohn Baca Army (1949-01-10) January 10, 1949 (age 68) [17]
  Ballard, Donald E.Donald E. Ballard Navy (1945-12-05) December 5, 1945 (age 71) [18]
  Barnum, Jr., Harvey C.Harvey C. Barnum, Jr. Marine Corps (1940-07-21) July 21, 1940 (age 76) [19]
  Beikirch, Gary B.Gary B. Beikirch Army (1947-08-29) August 29, 1947 (age 69) [20]
  Brady, Patrick HenryPatrick Henry Brady Army (1936-10-01) October 1, 1936 (age 80) [8]
  Bucha, PaulPaul Bucha Army (1943-08-01) August 1, 1943 (age 73) [21]
  Crandall, Bruce P.Bruce P. Crandall Army (1933-02-17) February 17, 1933 (age 84) [19]
  Davis, Sammy L.Sammy L. Davis Army (1946-11-01) November 1, 1946 (age 70) [22]
  Dix, Drew DennisDrew Dennis Dix Army (1944-12-14) December 14, 1944 (age 72) [12]
  Donlon, RogerRoger Donlon Army (1934-01-30) January 30, 1934 (age 83) [23]
  Ferguson, Frederick EdgarFrederick Edgar Ferguson Army (1939-08-18) August 18, 1939 (age 77) [24]
  Fitzmaurice, Michael JohnMichael John Fitzmaurice Army (1950-03-09) March 9, 1950 (age 67) [25]
  Fleming, James P.James P. Fleming Air Force (1943-03-12) March 12, 1943 (age 74) [8]
  Foley, Robert F.Robert F. Foley Army (1941-05-30) May 30, 1941 (age 75)
  Fox, Wesley L.Wesley L. Fox Marine Corps (1931-09-30) September 30, 1931 (age 85) [26]
  Fritz, Harold A.Harold A. Fritz Army (1944-02-21) February 21, 1944 (age 73) [22]
  Hagemeister, Charles C.Charles C. Hagemeister Army (1946-08-21) August 21, 1946 (age 70) [27]
  Herda, Frank A.Frank A. Herda Army (1947-09-13) September 13, 1947 (age 69)
  Ingram, Robert R.Robert R. Ingram Navy (1945-01-20) January 20, 1945 (age 72) [28]
  Jackson, Joe M.Joe M. Jackson Air Force (1923-03-14) March 14, 1923 (age 94) [8]
  Jacobs, Jack H.Jack H. Jacobs Army (1945-08-02) August 2, 1945 (age 71) [29]
  Jenkins, Don J.Don J. Jenkins Army (1948-04-18) April 18, 1948 (age 69) [9]
  Kelley, Thomas G.Thomas G. Kelley Navy (1939-05-13) May 13, 1939 (age 78) [30]
  Kellogg, Allan J.Allan J. Kellogg Marine Corps (1943-10-01) October 1, 1943 (age 73) [31]
  Kerrey, BobBob Kerrey Navy (1943-08-27) August 27, 1943 (age 73) [12]
  Kettles, CharlesCharles Kettles Army (1930-01-09) January 9, 1930 (age 87) [32]
  Lee, Howard V.Howard V. Lee Marine Corps (1933-08-01) August 1, 1933 (age 83) [33]
  Lemon, Peter C.Peter C. Lemon Army (1950-06-05) June 5, 1950 (age 66) [34]
  Littrell, Gary L.Gary L. Littrell Army (1944-10-26) October 26, 1944 (age 72) [35]
  Livingston, James E.James E. Livingston Marine Corps (1940-01-12) January 12, 1940 (age 77) [36]
  Lynch, Allen JamesAllen James Lynch Army (1945-10-28) October 28, 1945 (age 71) [22]
  Marm, Jr., Walter JosephWalter Joseph Marm, Jr. Army (1941-11-20) November 20, 1941 (age 75) [37]
  Modrzejewski, Robert J.Robert J. Modrzejewski Marine Corps (1934-07-03) July 3, 1934 (age 82) [38]
  Morris, MelvinMelvin Morris Army (1942-01-07) January 7, 1942 (age 75) [39]
  Norris, Thomas R.Thomas R. Norris Navy (1944-01-14) January 14, 1944 (age 73) [8]
  O'Malley, Robert EmmettRobert Emmett O'Malley Marine Corps (1943-06-03) June 3, 1943 (age 73) [14]
  Patterson, Robert MartinRobert Martin Patterson Army (1948-04-16) April 16, 1948 (age 69) [40]
  Rascon, Alfred V.Alfred V. Rascon Army (1945-09-10) September 10, 1945 (age 71) [12]
  Ray, Ronald E.Ronald E. Ray Army (1941-12-07) December 7, 1941 (age 75) [41]
  Roberts, Gordon RayGordon Ray Roberts Army (1950-06-14) June 14, 1950 (age 66)
  Rodela, JoseJose Rodela Army (1937-06-15) June 15, 1937 (age 79) [42]
  Sasser, ClarenceClarence Sasser Army (1947-09-12) September 12, 1947 (age 69) [43]
  Sprayberry, James M.James M. Sprayberry Army (1947-04-24) April 24, 1947 (age 70) [44]
  Stumpf, Kenneth E.Kenneth E. Stumpf Army (1944-09-28) September 28, 1944 (age 72) [45]
  Taylor, James AllenJames Allen Taylor Army (1937-12-31) December 31, 1937 (age 79) [46]
  Thacker, BrianBrian Thacker Army (1945-04-25) April 25, 1945 (age 72) [14]
  Thornton, Michael E.Michael E. Thornton Navy (1949-03-23) March 23, 1949 (age 68) [12]
  Vargas, Jay R.Jay R. Vargas Marine Corps (1938-07-29) July 29, 1938 (age 78) [38] [47]
  Wetzel, GaryGary Wetzel Army (1947-09-29) September 29, 1947 (age 69) [48]

War in AfghanistanEdit

The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001 and was the beginning of the War on Terrorism. The war was launched by the United States, the United Kingdom, and NATO allies in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The stated purpose of the invasion was to capture Osama bin Laden, destroy al-Qaeda, and remove the Taliban regime which had provided support and safe harbor to al-Qaeda.[49] Since 2001, 14 American service-members have received the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan, three of them posthumously.

Image Name Branch Birth date and age Reference
  Edward Byers Navy (1979-08-04) August 4, 1979 (age 37)
  Carpenter, KyleKyle Carpenter Marine Corps (1989-10-17) October 17, 1989 (age 27)
  Carter, TyTy Carter Army (1980-01-25) January 25, 1980 (age 37) [50]
  Giunta, SalvatoreSalvatore Giunta Army (1985-01-21) January 21, 1985 (age 32) [51]
  Groberg, FlorentFlorent Groberg Army (1983-05-08) May 8, 1983 (age 34) [52]
  Meyer, DakotaDakota Meyer Marine Corps (1988-06-26) June 26, 1988 (age 28) [53]
  Petry, LeroyLeroy Petry Army (1979-07-29) July 29, 1979 (age 37) [54]
  Pitts, Ryan M.Ryan M. Pitts Army 1985 (age 31–32)
  Romesha, ClintonClinton Romesha Army (1981-08-17) August 17, 1981 (age 35) [55]
  Swenson, William D.William D. Swenson Army (1978-11-02) November 2, 1978 (age 38)
  White, KyleKyle White Army (1987-03-27) March 27, 1987 (age 30) [56]

Recently deceasedEdit

Recipients who died within the last twelve months are listed below.[57]

Image Name Branch Conflict Birth date Death date Place of death Ref.
  Pittman, Richard A.Richard A. Pittman Marine Corps Vietnam War May 26, 1945 October 13, 2016 Stockton, California [58]
  Liteky, CharlesCharles Liteky Army Vietnam War February 14, 1931 January 20, 2017 San Francisco, California [59]
  Thorsness, Leo K.Leo K. Thorsness Air Force Vietnam War February 14, 1932 May 2, 2017 St. Augustine, Florida [60]
  Ross, Wilburn K.Wilburn K. Ross Army World War II May 26, 1922 May 9, 2017 Tacoma, Washington [61]
  Kinsman, Thomas JamesThomas James Kinsman Army Vietnam War March 4, 1945 May 15, 2017 Toledo, Washington [62]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ United States Department of the Army (July 1, 2002). "Section 578.4 Medal of Honor". Code of Federal Regulations Title 32, Volume 2. Government Printing Office. Retrieved 2006-07-23. 
  2. ^ "A Brief History — The Medal of Honor". Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Department of Defense. August 8, 2006. Archived from the original on June 15, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2013. 
  3. ^ Congressional Medal of Honor Society
  4. ^ a b "Medal of Honor recipients". Statistics of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who received the Medal of Honor. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Group of Military Veterans Endorse Wamp For Governor". The Chattanoogan. Chattanooga, Tennessee. June 29, 2009. Archived from the original on June 4, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Medal of Honor recipient turning 100". Army Times. May 29, 2009. Archived from the original on May 31, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Highly decorated Army colonel dies in Texas". The San Diego Union-Tribune. San Diego, California. December 23, 2009. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Marshall, John (November 11, 2003). "Medal of Honor recipient Patrick Brady epitomizes the humble hero". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Seattle, Washington. Archived from the original on May 31, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c Elson, Martha (November 10, 2010). "Sullivan will dedicate plaza to vets". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, Kentucky. Archived from the original on November 10, 2010. 
  10. ^ Wolffis, Susan Harrison (November 11, 2006). "Muskegon's Medal of Honor winner 'just doing his job'". Muskegon Chronicle. Muskegon, Michigan. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  11. ^ Welker, Grant (May 25, 2008). "Decorated city native joins national parade". The Herald News. Fall River, Massachusetts. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "Medal of Honor - Recipients Bios". Arlington, Virginia: WETA-TV. 2010. Retrieved June 21, 2010. 
  13. ^ Bruce, Billy (November 11, 2009). "VETERAN'S DAY: Never Forgotten". Ironton Tribune. Ironton, Ohio. Archived from the original on June 5, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c Williams, Rudi (June 14, 2004). "Nine Medal of Honor recipients Attend Gala". United States Department of Defense. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Medal of Honor statistics". Medal of Honor citations archive. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Archived from the original on December 14, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2013. 
  16. ^ Murphy, 1987, pp. 13–23
  17. ^ Vargo, Joe (May 14, 2008). "Cross-country flight to honor lives lost in Vietnam". The Press-Enterprise. Riverside, California. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. 
  18. ^ Gooding, Mike (November 29, 2010). "Medal of Honor recipient says being corpsman isn't for everyone". Hampton, Virginia: WVEC. Archived from the original on November 30, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b Vargo, Joe (March 2, 2008). "Medal of Honor recipients give support, thanks to fellow veterans". The Press-Enterprise. Riverside, California. Archived from the original on May 31, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Army Cadet Henson Wins Medal of Honor Scholarship". Clarkson Integrator. Potsdam, New York: Clarkson University. September 18, 2006. Archived from the original on May 30, 2010. 
  21. ^ Miller, Robert (November 6, 2009). "Ridgefield veteran to head state parade". The News-Times. Danbury, Connecticut. Archived from the original on June 15, 2010. 
  22. ^ a b c Reich, Howard (September 13, 2009). "Medal of Honor recipients say you can be hero too". Chicago Tribune. Chicago. Archived from the original on June 21, 2010. 
  23. ^ Gittler, Juliana (November 23, 2003). "Medal of Honor recipient encourages peace". Stars and Stripes. Washington D.C. Archived from the original on July 2, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Veterans speak of war service". East Valley Tribune. Mesa, Arizona. November 10, 2007. Archived from the original on July 2, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Eight Medal of Honor recipients are buried in SD". News From Indian Country. Wisconsin. May 28, 2007. Archived from the original on July 2, 2010. 
  26. ^ "Many ways to celebrate Memorial Day this weekend". The News & Advance. Lynchburg, Virginia. May 27, 2011. Archived from the original on June 1, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Royals to host Tigers, Twins". Kansas City, Missouri: Kansas City Royals. April 16, 2003. Archived from the original on July 2, 2010. 
  28. ^ Gaddis, Rebecca (June 18, 2009). "Medal of Honor recipient administers oath". Jax Air News. Jacksonville, Florida. Archived from the original on July 7, 2010. 
  29. ^ DiIonno, Mark (June 15, 2010). "Medal of Honor recipient from N.J. swears in 300 U.S. Army recruits at Statue of Liberty". New Jersey On-Line. Archived from the original on July 7, 2010. 
  30. ^ Haneisen, Rob (June 3, 2009). "Framingham veteran keeps Flag Day event alive". The MetroWest Daily News. Framingham, Massachusetts. Archived from the original on July 7, 2010. 
  31. ^ O'Brien, B.J. (July 21, 2006). "Kellogg honored by alumni association". The Bethel Beacon. Bethel, Connecticut. Archived from the original on May 31, 2010. 
  32. ^ Dalbey, Beth (November 12, 2015). "In Advance of Veterans Day, Dingell, Peters & Stabenow Introduce Legislation to Award Long-Overdue Medal of Honor to Ypsilanti Vietnam Veteran". Bloomfiled Hills Patch. 
  33. ^ Mishalov, Neil. "List of Living Medal of Honor Recipients". Neil Mishalov. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  34. ^ Roper, Peter (May 13, 2010). "Medal of Honor golf tourney to host Fort Carson vets". The Pueblo Chieftain. Pueblo, Colorado. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. 
  35. ^ Archer, Bill (August 23, 2010). "'I had a job to do'". Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Bluefield, West Virginia. Archived from the original on November 19, 2010. 
  36. ^ Kropf, Schuyler (October 3, 2009). "Convention of heroes shaping up". The Post and Courier. Charleston, South Carolina. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. 
  37. ^ Voss, Mike (April 23, 2010). "A healing wall". Washington Daily News. Washington, North Carolina. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. 
  38. ^ a b Liewer, Steve (November 11, 2007). "Medal of Honor process under fire". The San Diego Union-Tribune. San Diego, California. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. 
  39. ^ Melvin Morris's biography
  40. ^ Griggs, Travis (October 17, 2010). "Wannabe warriors an 'insult' to their bravery". Pensacola News Journal. Pensacola, Florida. Archived from the original on October 17, 2010. 
  41. ^ George, Justin (August 5, 2005). "A rare and Honorable gathering". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Florida. Archived from the original on July 7, 2010. 
  42. ^ Jose Rodela's biography
  43. ^ Tompkins, John (February 11, 2008). "Legion post pays tribute to Sasser". Brazosport Facts. Clute, Texas. Archived from the original on May 31, 2010. 
  44. ^ Beyerle, Dana (June 25, 2000). "At first a casualty, Gadsden native became a hero". The Tuscaloosa News. Tuscaloosa, Alabama. p. 6A. Retrieved May 30, 2010. 
  45. ^ Diedrich, John (August 22, 2007). "Medal of Honor is fake, say officials". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. p. 6B. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  46. ^ Fattig, Paul (June 28, 2010). "Clothes suited for an honorable vet". Mail Tribune. Medford, Oregon. Archived from the original on July 7, 2010. 
  47. ^ http://www.azdvs.gov/SearchResults.aspx?q=Frederick+Edgar+Ferguson&cx=013173311846497028359%3ahre03lpbgt4&cof=FORID%3a10
  48. ^ Wideman, Steve (May 22, 2010). "LZ Lambeau motorcycle ride kicks off event". The Post-Crescent. Appleton, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on June 4, 2010. 
  49. ^ "The United States Army in Afghanistan". Operation Enduring Freedom. United States Army. March 17, 2006. Archived from the original on February 1, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2013. 
  50. ^ "Obama awards Ty Carter Medal of Honor for Afghan battle". BBC. August 26, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  51. ^ Obert, Lori (February 10, 2012). "Blackhawk lands at Pepsi Center". Denver, Colorado: KUSA. Archived from the original on February 11, 2012. 
  52. ^ Gibbons-Neff, Thomas (October 14, 2015). "This Army captain will get the Medal of Honor for tackling an Afghan suicide bomber". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  53. ^ Lamothe, Dan (July 19, 2011). "Obama OKs Medal of Honor for living Marine". Marine Corps Times. Springfield, Virginia. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. 
  54. ^ "Army Ranger to be awarded Medal of Honor". Stars and Stripes. Washington, D.C. May 31, 2011. Archived from the original on June 1, 2011. 
  55. ^ Ogden, Eloise (January 12, 2013). "Minot man to receive Medal of Honor". Minot Daily News. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  56. ^ "Profile: Sergeant Kyle Jerome White". U.S. Army. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  57. ^ "Recently Departed". Congressional Medal of Honor Society. 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  58. ^ Vietnam War Medal of Honor Recipient Richard Pittman Dies at Age 71
  59. ^ Charlie Liteky, who gave back his Medal of Honor, dies
  60. ^ Medal of Honor Recipient Leo K. Thorsness Passes Away at 85
  61. ^ WWII Medal of Honor Recipient Wilburn K. Ross Shares his Story
  62. ^ Congressional Medal of Honor Society entry for Thomas James Kinsman

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