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Lee Ross Hartell

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U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Korea

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During the darkness of early morning, the enemy launched a ruthless attack against friendly positions on a rugged mountainous ridge. First Lieutenant Hartell, 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 ten yards of Hartell's position. First Lieutenant 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, First Lieutenant Hartell, in a final radio call, urged the friendly elements to fire both batteries continuously. Though mortally wounded, his actions contributed significantly to stemming the onslaught and enabled his company to hold their important position.

During WWII Lee Hartell served broke tradition with his Navy family, serving in the Army in the Pacific. Discharged after the war, he joined the Connecticut National Guard and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, then transferred to the regular Army as a Sergeant, then was called to duty as a reserve officer at Fort Dix before being sent to Korea.

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