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Interesting Medal of Honor Facts

  • The correct title for the award often called the "Congressional Medal of Honor" is simply "MEDAL OF HONOR" and the men who have received it prefer to be called "RECIPIENTS" (of the award), not "winners".  It is the only United States Military Award that is worn from a ribbon hung around the neck, and the only award presented "By the President In the Name of the Congress". 
  • 1Lt. Arthur MacArthur (Civil War) and General Douglas MacArthur (WWII) were the only FATHER & SON in history to each receive a Medal of Honor until the January 16,2000 presentation of the Medal of Honor to Theodore Roosevelt.  The award has been presented to 5 sets of brothers. 
  • Only one WOMAN, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker (Civil War) has ever received the Medal of Honor.  There are, however, the names of TWO women on the Roll of Honor.  During the Vietnam War Marine Captain Jay R. Vargas received the Medal of Honor.  Before his award could be presented to him his mother passed away at home in Arizona.  Vargas requested that his mother's name be engraved on the back of his Medal of Honor instead of his own.  President Nixon honored that loving request and the name of M. Sando Vargas....Jay Vargas' mother...was added to the Honor Roll.
  • The youngest person ever to receive the Medal of Honor was probably William "Willie" Johnston, who earned the Medal during the Civil War just prior to his 12th birthday and received his award 6 weeks after his 13th.  The oldest recipient was probably General Douglas MacArthur who was 62 years old when he earned the Medal.  World War II hero Jack Lucas became the youngest man in THIS CENTURY to receive the award when he threw is body over TWO grenades at Iwo Jima just 5 days after his 17th birthday.  (At the time of his heroism he had already been in the Marine Corps for THREE years.
  • The last Medal of Honor action of the Vietnam War occured on Halloween night in 1972 when Navy SEAL Michael E. Thornton risked his own life to rescue his wounded team leader.  His team leader, Navy Lt. Thomas R. Norris had been submitted for the Medal of Honor for his own heroic actions just 6 months earlier.  It was the only time since the Korean Incursion of 1817 that a Medal of Honor was awarded for saving the life of a fellow Medal recipient (though Mr. Norris did not receive his award until 1976).
  • The brotherhood of Medal recipients is strong and generates many long-lasting friendships.  Pvt. Jacob Parrott, the first person ever to be presented with the Medal of Honor remained such a close friendship with fellow "Raider" Wilson W. Brown (one of the two men who engineered The General in the "Great Locomotive Chase"), that their children became more than friends.  Parrott's only son John Marion Parrott married Edith Gertrude Brown, one of Wilson Brown's eight children.


Many More Interesting Facts will be coming your way as we continue to work on this page.
Feel free to submit any interesting facts you may have about the Medal of Honor.




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