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Above & Beyond

These pages are the results of a Medal of Honor research project by Eighth Graders at Sacred Heart Elementary School in Ville Platte, Louisiana.  Each student in the class adopted a Medal of Honor recipient from our Nation's history, researched his life, and then wrote the story you see here.

 World War II (Continued)

Douglas Munro


Douglas Munro was born on October 11, 1919, Vancouver, British Columbia.  He is the only Coast Guardsman to ever be awarded the Medal of Honor.  Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was the President of the United States, presented the medal to his mother.  Douglas is buried at Laurel Hills Memorial Park in Cle Elum, Washington.

Munro was a petty officer in charge of a group of twenty-four Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a battalion of marines, trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruiz, Guadalcanal, on September 27, 1942.  After making plans for the evacuation of nearly 500 marines, Munro, at the risk of his life, led five small landing crafts near the shore.  As he closed in on the beach, he signaled the others to land, and then in order to draw the enemy’s fire and protect the loaded boats, he placed his craft with two guns as a shield between the beaches and the Japanese. When the task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was killed instantly by fire.  His crew were wounded and guided the last Higgins boats to safety.  Munro and his men saved the lives of those who would have perished. 

Douglas Munro is a hero because he didn’t think of his own life; he thought of others. After he was killed, Munro’s heroic act was not completed. He instilled courage in his crew members to finish what they had started.  Douglas Munro gave his life for his country and others.

 

Audie Leon Murphy


Audie Leon Murphy was born on July 20, 1924. He was the son of a poor Texas sharecropper and rose to national fame as the most decorated U.S. combat soldier of WWII.  Audie enlisted at age 18.  Among his 33 awards and decorations was the coveted Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest military award for bravery that can be given to any individual in the United States of America, for ”conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.”  He also received every decoration for valor that his country had to offer, some of them more than once, including five decorations by France and Belgium. On September 1945, Audie was released from the Army as an active member and reassigned to inactive status.  After the war he went to Hollywood and starred in dozens of motion pictures and several television shows. 

Audie Leon Murphy died in a plane crash in 1971 at the age of 46. On June 7th, Audie Murphy was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. His gravesite, near the Amphitheater, is the second most visited gravesite year around.  President Kennedy’s grave is the most visited. 

Audie Murphy remains a unique figure in modern America because of his significant presence in both our military history and our popular culture.

 

William Arthur Shomo


William Arthur Shomo is my favorite Medal of Honor winner. He is not my favorite because he was the strongest or best-looking. He is my favorite because I think he had the most courage. He was the leading pilot of a two-fighter pilot flight. When Shomo and his wingman were flying, they approached a bomber plane being protected by twelve fighter planes. Even though the odds were 13 to 2, Shomo immediately ordered an attack on the planes.  Shomo scored fatal hits on seven of the planes including the bomber plane. During this action his wingman had also shot down three fighter planes. 

For Maj. Shomo’s gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life ”above and beyond the call of duty,” he was awarded the Medal of Honor. 

 

Charles L. Thomas


For incredible heroism on December 14, 1944, near Climbach, France, First Lieutenant Charles L. Thomas received the Medal of Honor. He served during World War II. 

While riding in the lead vehicle of a task force organized to attack and capture the village of Climbach, France, then first Lieutenant Thomas’ armored scout car was exposed to profound enemy artillery. Although wounded by the earlier burst of deadly fire, Lieutenant Thomas signaled the remainder of the column to stop, and despite the severity of his wounds, helped the crew of the wrecked car in exiting. Upon leaving the protection, which the vehicle provided, Lt. Thomas was again subjected to a hail of enemy fire, which inflicted many gunshot wounds in his chest, legs, and left arm. Despite the extreme pain caused by the wounds, he commanded and directed the dispersion and emplacement of two anti-tank guns, which in a few moments were sharply, and effectively returning the enemy fire. Realizing that he could no longer control the platoon, he signaled to the platoon commander to join him. He then thoroughly oriented him on the enemy gun dispositions and the situation. Only after he was positive that his junior officer was in full control of the situation did he allow himself to be evacuated. 

His outstanding heroism was an inspiration to his men and shows the highest tradition of the armed forces. For his courageous and inspiring actions he was granted the privilege of receiving the Medal of Honor. 

Lieutenant Thomas willingly placed himself in harm’s way to serve his country. He did this knowing that no one would have thought any less of him if he did not. For that I admire him.

 

Herbert Joseph Thomas


Herbert Joseph Thomas was born on February 8, 1918, in Columbus, Ohio. He became a sergeant in the U.S. Marines during World War II. In 1943, he and his men were assigned to fight against the Japanese forces in the Soloman Islands. 

While fighting for the Koromokina River, most of his crew was wounded by enemy fire. They never once gave up. Sergeant Thomas led his squad through the dense jungle, while shooting enemy soldiers. Once they reached the center of the Japanese position, they began destroying the machine-gun crews. When they thought the worst was over, another machine-gun crew was discovered. Approaching this one was to be more difficult than the pervious ones.  Sgt. Thomas threw a grenade toward the gun emplacement, but dense jungle growth caused it to fall back among the squad members. Sergeant Thomas deliberately threw himself on the grenade and smothered the explosion with his body. He saved his fellow comrades. Since they were greatly inspired by his action, the men unhesitatingly charged the enemy and destroyed everything in sight. 

Sgt. Herbert Joseph Thomas courageously gave his life for our country. We are proud and should honor all that fought for our freedom and gave their lives in its defense.

 

Matt Urban


Matt Urban was the leader of his company.  While they were attacking at Renouf, France, Lieutenant Colonel Urban’s company was attacked by two enemy tanks and small arms fire. The enemy tanks were raking his company’s position. Realizing the danger his company was in, Lieutenant Colonel Urban armed himself with a bazooka and destroyed both tanks. Unfortunately, Lieutenant Colonel Urban was hit in the chest by a tank gun. 

The next day, while seizing an enemy village, he was wounded again in the leg. One hour later he was wounded again and was forced to evacuate. While in the hospital, Lieutenant Colonel Urban learned of his company’s need for battle-tested leaders. Leaving the hospital and hitchhiking back to the battlefield, Lieutenant Colonel Urban found his company and started leading them again. He found an immobile tank and mounted the gun on it. He was again wounded in the chest, this time by mortar shell fragments. Nine days later, while establishing a crossing point on the Meuse River, he was wounded again for a fourth time. Five hours later he was wounded again in the neck and could not talk anymore. By using hand signals to give his commands to his commanding officer, he still led his men. After the situation was under control, he was evacuated and sent to the hospital. 

Using extreme determination and great skill, Lieutenant Colonel Urban went ”above and beyond the call of duty”.  I admire this man because of his bold determination and valor. This World War II veteran served his country in the utmost way.

 

Jonathan M. Wainwright


Mr. Jonathan M. Wainwright served as a general in the US Army. He entered the service at Skancateles, Onondaga Country, New York. 

General Wainwright spent three years and three months in Japanese custody after his defense and surrender at Bataan and Corregidor. While he was held as a prisoner, General Wainwright received very harsh treatment from the Japanese. He was hardly fed during this time and became very emaciated. On August 31, 1945 he was freed. 

General Wainwright frequented the firing line of his troops where his presence provided the example that helped make the efforts of these brave men possible. He was responsible for the stand on Corregidor, in the Philippine Islands at the beginning of the war. This commanded the admiration of the nation’s allies. This final stand showed the high morale of American arms in a time of overwhelming odds. 

General Wainwright flew to Yokohama on September 2, 1945, the day of the surrender of Japan aboard the Missouri. He was called forward by General Macarthur, and was given the first pen with which they had signed for the defeated Japanese. General Wainwright was presented with the Medal of Honor on September 10, 1945, by President Harry S. Truman at the White House.  

To me General Jonathan Wainwright was a very special man and deserved to receive the Medal of Honor for all of his hard work and struggles, while he was a prisoner. He distinguished himself as a very determined leader.

 


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Home Page

Hall Of Heroes

MOH Community 

NEWS

Kidz Page

FEATURE STORIES
  Profiles In Courage | Wings of ValorThe Brotherhood of Soldiers At War | Go For Broke
 Pearl Harbor  | A Splendid Little War | Shinmiyangyo-Korea 1871 | Quick Links to MOH Stories

RECIPIENT WEB SITES
Barney Barnum  |  Jack Lucas  |  Mitch Paige  |  Wesley Fox  |  Sammy Davis
Roger Donlon
Peter Lemon  |  Drew Dix  |  Mike Novosel

Medal Of Honor Calendar  |  Books By MOH RecipientsSteve Ryan MOH Posters

What Does 
A Hero Look Like?

Click on Superman To Find out


FOOTNOTES
In
HISTORY

NEW
Looking for a Hero or trying to verify awards? We have posted the names of more than 120,000 recipients of the highest awards in a BRAND NEW FREE SECTION
DECORATIONS 1862 - Present
.

Military Medals & Awards 

Information and Images of ALL Military Medals
The Purple Heart 
How to Request Records/Medals Earned
  How to Obtain Military Records of a Family Member 

Honor Roll of America's Military Heroes


Brevet Medal


DSC 


Navy Cross 


Air Force Cross 

Distinguished Service Medals

Defense - Army - Navy - Air Force - Coast Guard - Merchant Marine



Silver Star

U.S. History and Information
The History Room | U.S. Flag HistoryHistory of the Flag |
How to Display the Flag
| The National Anthem | The Pledge of Allegiance The American Creed | The Seal of our Nation | Our National Symbol
Arthur MacArthur's Flag | William Carney's Flag | FDR's Flag of Liberation]

FLAG DAY           STATE FLAGS
American Presidents
U.S. Presidents | Inaugural Addresses

God & Country
ROOM

MY HERO Web Page Creator 
(Create a Tribute to the Hero in Your Own Life)

SEARCH
bn_search.jpg (3967 bytes)
OUR SITE

EDUCATIONAL

GAME ARCADE

OR
Quick Quiz

***
Electronic Post Cards
Talking Points 

Remembering 911
The Binch
Citizens Speak Out

BEYOND THE MEDAL

This 5 Disc DVD Education Program has been distributed to over 17,500 Public & Private High Schools and is now available to the public!


 

HomeOfHeroes.com now has more than 25,000 pages of US History for you to view.