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Archie Van Winkle

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U.S. Marine Corps
Medal Of Honor, Korea

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Immediately rallying the men in his area after a fanatical and numerically superior enemy force penetrated the center of the line under cover of darkness and pinned down the platoon with a devastating barrage of deadly automatic weapons and grenade fire, Staff Sergeant Van Winkle boldly spearheaded a determined attack through withering fire against hostile frontal positions and, though he and all the others who charged with him were wounded, succeeded in enabling his platoon to gain the fire superiority and the opportunity to reorganize. Realizing that the left flank squad was isolated from the rest of the unit, he rushed through 40 yards of fierce enemy fire to reunite his troops despite an elbow wound which rendered one of his arms totally useless. Severely wounded a second time when a direct hit in the chest from a hostile hand grenade caused serious and painful wounds, he staunchly refused evacuation and continued to shout orders and words of encouragement to his depleted and battered platoon. Finally carried from his position unconscious from shock and from loss of blood, Staff Sergeant Van Winkle served to inspire all who observed him to heroic efforts in successfully repulsing the enemy attack.

Archie Van Winkle joined the Marine Corps at age 16 and was promoted to Corporal before landing on Guadalcanal. When the Marines landed at Cape Gloucester, Archie Van Winkle was a Sergeant, and then served at Peleliu as a Platoon Sergeant. He became an aircraft gunner, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Air Medals and two Purple Hearts. A Staff Sergeant at the time of his Medal of Honor action in Korea, later received his commission and retired in 1974 as a Colonel of Marines.

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