Saturday, June 25, 2005
Medal of Honor Winner Passes
Say a little prayer for Gen. Louis H. Wilson Jr
. tonight.He received the Medal of Honor, the military's highest award for valor, while fighting Japanese forces at Fonte Hill, Guam, on July 25 and 26, 1944. At the time, he was a captain and the commanding officer of a rifle company.
Launching a daylight attack against massive machine gun resistance, he pushed his men 300 yards across open terrain and captured a portion of a hill that contained the enemy command post. That night, he took command of other disorganized units and motorized equipment and fortified defenses while risking exposure to enemy fire.
Wounded three times within five hours, he briefly sought treatment before volunteering to return to duty to defend against counterattacks that lasted through the night.
At one point, he dashed 50 yards through flying shrapnel and bullets to rescue a wounded Marine beyond the front lines. That was followed by hand-to-hand fighting over a 10-hour span, repelling Japanese troops that sought to overrun the Allied lines through 11 full-fledged attacks.
His Medal of Honor citation continued: ''Then organizing a 17-man patrol, he immediately advanced upon a strategic slope essential to the security of his position and, boldly defying intense mortar, machinegun, and rifle fire which struck down 13 of his men, drove relentlessly forward with the remnants of his patrol to seize the vital ground.''