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Nelson V. Brittin
Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1920-10-31)October 31, 1920
Died March 7, 1951(1951-03-07) (aged 30)
Place of birth Audubon, New Jersey
Place of death Vicinity of Yonggong-ni, Korea
Place of burial Beverly National Cemetery Beverly, New Jersey
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1942 - 1951
Rank Sergeant First Class
Unit Company I, 19th Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars Korean War
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Nelson Vogel Brittin (October 31, 1920 – March 7, 1951) was a soldier in the United States Army during the Korean War. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Yonggong-ni, Korea, on March 7, 1951.

Brittin joined the Army from his birthplace of Audubon, New Jersey in July 1942.[1] He is buried in Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly, New Jersey.[2]

Awards and decorations

Brittin's awards include:

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Medal of Honor citation

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 12 (February 1, 1952)
Action Date: 7-Mar-51
Service: Army
Rank: Sergeant First Class
Company: Company I
Battalion: 3d Battalion
Regiment: 19th Infantry Regiment
Division: 24th Infantry Division


The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Sergeant First Class Nelson Vogel Brittin (ASN: RA-32271499), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company I, 3d Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Yonggong-ni, Korea on 7 March 1951. Volunteering to lead his squad up a hill, with meager cover against murderous fire from the enemy, Sergeant First Class Brittin ordered his squad to give him support and, in the face of withering fire and bursting shells, he tossed a grenade at the nearest enemy position. On returning to his squad, he was knocked down and wounded by an enemy grenade. Refusing medical attention, he replenished his supply of grenades and returned, hurling grenades into hostile positions and shooting the enemy as they fled. When his weapon jammed, he leaped without hesitation into a foxhole and killed the occupants with his bayonet and the butt of his rifle. He continued to wipe out foxholes and, noting that his squad had been pinned down, he rushed to the rear of a machinegun position, threw a grenade into the nest, and ran around to its front, where he killed all three occupants with his rifle. Less than 100 yards up the hill, his squad again came under vicious fire from another camouflaged, sandbagged, machinegun nest well-flanked by supporting riflemen. Sergeant First Class Brittin again charged this new position in an aggressive endeavor to silence this remaining obstacle and ran direct into a burst of automatic fire which killed him instantly. In his sustained and driving action, he had killed 20 enemy soldiers and destroyed four automatic weapons. The conspicuous courage, consummate valor, and noble self-sacrifice displayed by Sergeant First Class Brittin enabled his inspired company to attain its objective and reflect the highest glory on himself and the heroic traditions of the military service. [3]

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.

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