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William Earl Barber

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U.S. Marine Corps
Medal Of Honor, Korea

 Photo Courtesy of HomeOfHeroes.com

 

 

 

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Assigned to defend a 3-mile mountain pass along the division's main supply line and commanding the only route of approach in the march from Yudam-ni to Hagaru-ri, Captain Barber took position with his battle-weary troops and, before nightfall, had dug in. When a force of regimental strength attacked during the night, inflicting heavy casualties and finally surrounding his position following a bitterly fought 7-hour conflict, Captain Barber, gave assurance that he could hold if supplied by airdrops and requested permission to stand fast after 2 reinforcing units had been driven back under fierce resistance in their attempts to reach the isolated troops. Captain Barber continued to maintain personal control, often moving up and down the lines on a stretcher to direct the defense and consistently encouraging and inspiring his men to supreme efforts despite the staggering opposition. Waging desperate battle throughout five days and six nights of repeated onslaughts launched by the fanatical aggressors, he and his heroic command accounted for approximately 1,000 enemy dead in this epic stand in bitter subzero weather, and when the company was relieved only two of his original 220 men were able to walk away from the position so valiantly defended against insuperable odds.

Bill Barber joined the Marines in 1940 and earned an O.C.S. commission in 1943. He earned a Silver Star and Purple Heart at Iwo Jima for rescuing two Marines while under fire.

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Click on the image at left for a photo of President Truman presenting the Medal of Honor to William Barber.

 

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