The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*HARTELL, LEE R.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant,
U.S. Army, Battery A, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2d Infantry Division. Place and
date: Near Kobangsan-ni, Korea, 27 August 1951. Entered service at: Danbury,
Conn. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. G.O. No.: 16, 1 February 1952.
1st. Lt. Hartell, a member of Battery A, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry
and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action
against an armed enemy of the United Nations. During the darkness of early morning, the
enemy launched a ruthless attack against friendly positions on a rugged mountainous ridge.
1st Lt. Hartell, attached to Company B, 9th Infantry Regiment, as forward observer,
quickly moved his radio to an exposed vantage on the ridge line to adjust defensive fires.
Realizing the tactical advantage of illuminating the area of approach, he called for
flares and then directed crippling fire into the onrushing assailants. At this juncture a
large force of hostile troops swarmed up the slope in banzai charge and came within 10
yards of 1st Lt. Hartell's position. 1st Lt. Hartell sustained a severe hand wound in the
ensuing encounter but grasped the microphone with his other hand and maintained his
magnificent stand until the front and left flank of the company were protected by a
close-in wall of withering fire, causing the fanatical foe to disperse and fall back
momentarily. After the numerically superior enemy overran an outpost and was closing on
his position, 1st Lt. Hartell, in a final radio call, urged the friendly elements to fire
both batteries continuously. Although mortally wounded, 1st Lt. Hartell's intrepid actions
contributed significantly to stemming the onslaught and enabled his company to maintain
the strategic strongpoint. His consummate valor and unwavering devotion to duty reflect
lasting glory on himself and uphold the noble traditions of the military service.