Memorial Day: Congressional Medal of Honor Winner Cornelius H. Charlton

Born: 1929
War: Korea
Rank: Sergeant, U.S. Army
Location of Action: Near Chipo-ri
Date of Action: June 2, 1951

Official Medal of Honor Citation: Sergeant Cornelius H. Charlton, Infantry, United States Army, a member of Company C 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy on 2 June 1951, near Chipo-ri, Korea.

His platoon was attacking heavily defended hostile positions on commanding ground when the leader was wounded and evacuated. Sergeant Charlton assumed command, rallied the men, and spearheaded the assault against the hill. Personally eliminating two hostile positions and killing six of the enemy with his rifle fire and grenades, he continued up the slope until the unit suffered heavy casualties and became pinned down. Regrouping the men he led them forward only to be again hurled back by a shower of grenades.

Despite a severe chest wound, Sergeant Charlton refused medical attention and led a third daring charge which carried to the crest of the ridge. Observing that the remaining emplacement which had retarded the advance was situated on the reverse slope, he charged it alone, was again hit by a grenade but raked the position with a devastating fire which eliminated it and routed the defenders. The wounds received during his daring exploits resulted in his death but his indomitable courage, superb leadership, and gallant self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself the infantry, and the military service.

This and other Congressional Medal of Honor citations may be found at Military Connections.

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