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Richard Thomas Shea, Jr.

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U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Korea

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First Lieutenant Shea was supervising reinforcement of defensive positions when the enemy attacked with great numerical superiority. Voluntarily proceeding to the area most threatened, he organized and led a counterattack and killed two hostile soldiers with his trench knife. Calmly moving among the men, checking positions, steadying and urging the troops to hold firm, he fought side by side with them through the night. At dawn the enemy made an attempt to overrun friendly elements. Charging forward to meet the challenge, Lieutenant Shea and his men drove back the hostile troops. Company G joined the defense on July 7, having lost key personnel through casualties. Integrating these troops into his unit, Shea rallied 20 men and again charged the enemy. Although wounded he refused evacuation and continued to lead the counterattack. When the assaulting element was pinned down he personally rushed the emplacement firing his carbine and lobbing grenades, neutralizing the weapon and killing three of the enemy. He directed a holding action throughout the night and the following morning. On 8 July, the enemy attacked again. Despite additional wounds, he launched a determined counterattack and was last seen in close hand-to-hand combat with the enemy.

Richard Shea graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1952, where he became known as the "greatest track and field star in West Point history." He won sixteen major middle distance and cross-country championships and set seven indoor and outdoor West Point records in Track and Field. The Army Athletic Association named him the "Outstanding Athlete" in the Class of 1952.

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