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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. A recipient must distinguish themselves at the risk of their own life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an enemy of the United States. The medal is presented to the recipient by the President of the United States on behalf of the Congress.

World War II

Image Name Service Rank Place of action Date of action Notes
Urban, MattMatt Urban Army Captain Renouf, France June 14, 1944 – September 3, 1944 An infantry company and battalion commander with many decorations and awards including seven Purple Hearts in World War II:
"Distinguished himself by a series of bold, heroic actions, exemplified by a singularly outstanding combat leadership, personal bravery, and tenacious devotion to duty... Captain Urban's personal leadership, limitless bravery, and repeated extraordinary exposure to enemy fire served as an inspiration to his entire battalion. His valourous and intrepid actions reflect the utmost credit on him and uphold the noble traditions of the United States Army."
Nicholas Oresko, Army Medal of Honor recipient 2001.jpg Oresko, NicholasNicholas Oresko Army Master Sergeant near Tettingen, Germany January 23, 1945 For single-handedly destroying two bunkers while being seriously wounded. Was oldest living Medal of Honor recipient until passing on October 4, 2013.

Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was a military conflict between the Communist-supported Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the United States-supported Republic of Vietnam. It started in 1959 and concluded April 30, 1975 with the defeat and failure of the United States foreign policy in Vietnam.[1]

During the Vietnam War, 246 Medals of Honor were received, 154 of them posthumously.[2]

Image Name Service Rank Place of action Date of action Notes References
John Levitow.jpg Levitow, JohnJohn Levitow Air Force Airman First Class Long Binh Army post, Republic of Vietnam Feb 24, 1969 Although severely wounded himself from a mortar round, he moved another wounded crew member to safety. He then used his own body to smother and move a smoking flare from within the cargo compartment of the aircraft and threw it from the back of the plane as it separated and ignited in the air as it cleared the aircraft. [3][4]



  1. "Vietnam War". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 5, 2008. "Meanwhile, the United States, its military demoralized and its civilian electorate deeply divided, began a process of coming to terms with defeat in its longest and most controversial war" 
  2. "Medal of Honor recipients". Medal of Honor statistics. United States Army Center of Military History. December 3, 2010. Retrieved May 10, 2011. 
  3. Brody, 2004, pp. 270–1
  4. "Vietnam (A-L)". Medal of Honor recipients. United States Army Center for Military History. December 3, 2010. Retrieved May 8, 2011. 

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