The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
CHARETTE, WILLIAM R.
Rank and organization: Hospital Corpsman
Third Class, U.S. Navy Medical Corpsman serving with a marine rifle company. Place and
date: Korea, 27 March 1953. Entered service at: Ludington, Michigan. Birth:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty in action against enemy aggressor forces during the early morning hours.
Participating in a fierce encounter with a cleverly concealed and well-entrenched enemy
force occupying positions on a vital and bitterly contested outpost far in advance of the
main line of resistance, HC3c. Charette repeatedly and unhesitatingly moved about through
a murderous barrage of hostile small-arms and mortar fire to render assistance to his
wounded comrades. When an enemy grenade landed within a few feet of a marine he was
attending, he immediately threw himself upon the stricken man and absorbed the entire
concussion of the deadly missile with his body. Although sustaining painful facial wounds,
and undergoing shock from the intensity of the blast which ripped the helmet and medical
aid kit from his person, HC3c. Charette resourcefully improvised emergency bandages by
tearing off part of his clothing, and gallantly continued to administer medical aid to the
wounded in his own unit and to those in adjacent platoon areas as well. Observing a
seriously wounded comrade whose armored vest had been torn from his body by the blast from
an exploding shell, he selflessly removed his own battle vest and placed it upon the
helpless man although fully aware of the added jeopardy to himself. Moving to the side of
another casualty who was suffering excruciating pain from a serious leg wound, HC3c.
Charette stood upright in the trench line and exposed himself to a deadly hail of enemy
fire in order to lend more effective aid to the victim and to alleviate his anguish while
being removed to a position of safety. By his indomitable courage and inspiring efforts in
behalf of his wounded comrades, HC3c. Charette was directly responsible for saving many
lives. His great personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the
finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.