The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*HAMMOND, LESTER, JR.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S.
Army, Company A, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. Place and date: Near
Kumwha, Korea, 14 August 1952. Entered service at: Quincy, Ill. Born: 25
March 1931, Wayland, Mo. G.O. No.: 63, 17 August 1953.
Cpl. Hammond, a radio operator with Company A, distinguished himself by conspicuous
gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the
enemy. Cpl. Hammond was a member of a 6 man reconnaissance patrol which had penetrated
approximately 3,500 yards into enemy-held territory. Ambushed and partially surrounded by
a large hostile force, the small group opened fire, then quickly withdrew up a narrow
ravine in search of protective cover. Despite a wound sustained in the initial exchange of
fire and imminent danger of being overrun by the numerically superior foe, he refused to
seek shelter and, remaining in an exposed place, called for artillery fire to support a
defensive action. Constantly vulnerable to enemy observation and action, he coordinated
and directed crippling fire on the assailants, inflicting heavy casualties and repulsing
several attempts to overrun friendly positions. Although wounded a second time, he
remained steadfast and maintained his stand until mortally wounded. His indomitable
fighting spirit set an inspiring example of valor to his comrades and, through his
actions, the onslaught was stemmed, enabling a friendly platoon to reach the beleaguered
patrol, evacuate the wounded, and effect a safe withdrawal to friendly lines. Cpl.
Hammond's unflinching courage and consummate devotion to duty reflect lasting glory on
himself and uphold the finest traditions of the military service .