Today in Badass History: Stanley T. Adams, US Army, Medal of Honor


Stanley “Stan” Taylor Adams (May 9, 1922 – April 19, 1999) was a US Army officer who received the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Korean War. A native of Kansas, Adams fought in World War II as an enlisted soldier. He was sent to Korea as a sergeant soon after the outbreak of war there, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading a bayonet charge against a numerically superior force in early 1951. Commissioned as an officer shortly after receiving the medal, Adams continued to serve into the Vietnam War, eventually retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

Early life and World War II

Born in De Soto, Kansas, on May 9, 1922, Adams joined the Army from nearby Olathe in 1942. During World War II, he was wounded in action while fighting in North Africa and Italy.

Korean War

After World War II, he served in Japan as part of the Allied occupation force. In July 1950, shortly after the onset of the Korean War, he was sent to South Korea as a sergeant first class with Company A of the 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Division.

In late January 1951, the Eighth Army, of which Adams’ unit was a part, launched a counteroffensive against Chinese troops which had begun pushing the United Nations forces southward months earlier. Company A established a position south of Seoul near Sesim-ni on February 3, and Adams’ platoon set up an outpost on a ridge 200 yards (180 m) forward of the rest of the company. At about 11:00 that night, enemy troops assaulted and pushed back the companies to either side of Company A, leaving the unit surrounded on three sides. Two hours later, in the early morning of February 4, Adams’ forward platoon was attacked by about 250 soldiers. After 45 minutes under intense machine gun and mortar fire, the platoon withdrew to the main company position.

Seeing that the opposing force could only be routed by close quarters fighting, Adams led 13 men from his platoon in a bayonet charge against approximately 150 enemy soldiers. He continued to fight in hand-to-hand combat for nearly an hour, despite being shot in the leg and knocked off his feet four times by grenades, until the hostile force began to retreat. When orders came for his battalion to withdraw, he stayed behind to provide covering fire. Adams was subsequently promoted to master sergeant and awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle. The medal was formally presented to him by President Harry S. Truman in a July 5, 1951, ceremony at the White House.

Later years

Shortly after receiving the Medal of Honor, Adams was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He retired in 1970 as a lieutenant colonel. He died in the veterans home on April 19, 1999, aged 76, and was buried at Willamette National Cemetery.


Adams’ official citation reads:

M/Sgt. Adams, Company A, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against an enemy. At approximately 0100 hours, M/Sgt. Adams’ platoon, holding an outpost some 200 yards ahead of his company, came under a determined attack by an estimated 250 enemy troops. Intense small-arms, machine gun, and mortar fire from 3 sides pressed the platoon back against the main line of resistance. Observing approximately 150 hostile troops silhouetted against the skyline advancing against his platoon, M/Sgt. Adams leaped to his feet, urged his men to fix bayonets, and he, with 13 members of his platoon, charged this hostile force with indomitable courage. Within 50 yards of the enemy M/Sgt. Adams was knocked to the ground when pierced in the leg by an enemy bullet. He jumped to his feet and, ignoring his wound, continued on to close with the enemy when he was knocked down 4 times from the concussion of grenades which had bounced off his body. Shouting orders he charged the enemy positions and engaged them in hand-to-hand combat where man after man fell before his terrific onslaught with bayonet and rifle butt. After nearly an hour of vicious action M/Sgt. Adams and his comrades routed the fanatical foe, killing over 50 and forcing the remainder to withdraw. Upon receiving orders that his battalion was moving back he provided cover fire while his men withdrew. M/Sgt. Adams’ superb leadership, incredible courage, and consummate devotion to duty so inspired his comrades that the enemy attack was completely thwarted, saving his battalion from possible disaster. His sustained personal bravery and indomitable fighting spirit against overwhelming odds reflect the utmost glory upon himself and uphold the finest traditions of the infantry and the military service.

Medal Of Honor Recipient, John McGinty, Dies in Beaufort, SC


Medal of Honor recipient and retired Marine Capt. John James McGinty III has died in Beaufort, S.C. He was 73.

McGinty received the nation’s highest valor award for his actions during the Vietnam War in a July 18, 1966, battle that resulted in nearly 500 enemy dead.

While pulling rear security for 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, which was withdrawing after being besieged for three days, his platoon came “under heavy small-arms, automatic weapons and mortar fire from an estimated enemy regiment,” according to his citation.

Then-Sgt. McGinty responded by rallying his platoon’s men to fend off wave after wave of enemy attacks over a four-hour period.

During a particularly vicious assault, two of his unit’s squads were separated from the rest of the platoon. McGinty responded by charging across fire-swept terrain, braving both machine guns and mortars, to reach the cut off squads.

“Finding 20 men wounded and the medical corpsman killed, he quickly reloaded ammunition magazines and weapons for the wounded men and directed their fire upon the enemy,” his citation reads.

Despite sustaining his own painful wounds, he continued shouting encouragement to fellow Marines and directing their fire “so effectively that the attacking horde were beaten off.”

When a determined enemy attempted to outflanked his position, he personally killed five with his .45-caliber 1911 pistol. On the verge of being overrun, he redirected artillery fire to within 50 yards of his position.

“The destructive firepower routed the enemy, who left an estimated 500 bodies on the battlefield,” his citation reads.

Upon returning to the United States, McGinty served as a drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. until his promotion to second lieutenant in August of 1967, according to the United States Marine Corps History Division.

McGinty who first enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1957, before entering active duty the following year, went on to serve through retirement in 1976.

In addition to the MoH, his decorations include the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal with two bronze stars, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

He will be buried at the Beaufort National Cemeteryat 1 p.m. Thursday, reports the Island Packet.


Tribute: David B. Champagne, Corporal (E-4), U.S. Marine Corps


David Champagne was born on November 13, 1932, in Waterville, Maine. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on March 7, 1951, and after completing basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina, he served at Camp Pendleton, California, from June to August 1951. Cpl Champagne deployed to Korea in October 1951, where he served with A Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division until he was killed in action on May 28, 1952. He was buried at the Saint Francis Catholic Cemetery in Waterville, Maine. DavidBChampagneRibbons

His Medal of Honor Citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a fire team leader of Company A, in action against enemy aggressor forces. Advancing with his platoon in the initial assault of the company against a strongly fortified and heavily defended hill position, Cpl. Champagne skillfully led his fire team through a veritable hail of intense enemy machine gun, small-arms, and grenade fire, overrunning trenches and a series of almost impregnable bunker positions before reaching the crest of the hill and placing his men in defensive positions. Suffering a painful leg wound while assisting in repelling the ensuing hostile counterattack, which was launched under cover of a murderous hail of mortar and artillery fire, he steadfastly refused evacuation and fearlessly continued to control his fire team When the enemy counterattack increased in intensity, and a hostile grenade landed in the midst of the fire team, Cpl. Champagne unhesitatingly seized the deadly missile and hurled it in the direction of the approaching enemy. As the grenade left his hand, it exploded blowing off his hand and throwing him out of the trench. Mortally wounded by enemy mortar fire while in this exposed position, Cpl. Champagne, by his valiant leadership, fortitude, and gallant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death, undoubtedly saved the lives of several of his fellow marines. His heroic actions served to inspire all who observed him and reflect the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Tribute: Rodolfo P. Hernandez, Corporal, U.S. Army


Rodolfo P. “Rudy” Hernandez, a Medal Of Honor recipient from the Korean war passed away on 21 December 2013 at the age of 82 at Womack Army Medical Center after battling cancer. Mr. Hernandez was awarded the Medal Of Honor for his actions near Wontong-ni, Korea, 31 May 1951.

Hernandez was assigned to Company G of the 2nd Battalion, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. His platoon was ordered to defend Hill 420, located near Wonton-ni. On May 31, 1951, his platoon was the object of a numerically superior enemy counterattack. A close-quarters firefight broke out when enemy troops surged up the hill and inflicted numerous casualties on the platoon. Hernandez was wounded during the attack, but was able to fire upon the rushing enemy troops. After his rifle ruptured, he continued attacking the enemy with his bayonet. His attack enabled his comrades to regroup and take back the hill.

A grenade explosion that blew away part of his brain knocked him unconscious. Hernandez, who had received grenade, bayonet, and bullet wounds, appeared dead to the first medic who reached him, Keith Oates. Oates realized, however, that Hernandez was still alive when he saw him move his fingers. Hernandez woke up a month later in a military hospital, unable to move his arms or legs or to talk.

On April 12, 1952, President Harry S. Truman bestowed upon Hernandez the Medal of Honor in a ceremony held in the White House Rose Garden. After many surgeries and physical therapy over a five-year period, Hernandez regained limited use of his right arm and learned to write with his left hand.


His Medal of Honor Citation reads:

Cpl. Hernandez, a member of Company G, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy.

His platoon, in defensive positions on Hill 420, came under ruthless attack by a numerically superior and fanatical hostile force, accompanied by heavy artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire which inflicted numerous casualties on the platoon.

His comrades were forced to withdraw due to lack of ammunition but Cpl. Hernandez, although wounded in an exchange of grenades, continued to deliver deadly fire into the ranks of the onrushing assailants until a ruptured cartridge rendered his rifle inoperative.

Immediately leaving his position, Cpl. Hernandez rushed the enemy armed only with rifle and bayonet.

Fearlessly engaging the foe, he killed 6 of the enemy before falling unconscious from grenade, bayonet, and bullet wounds but his heroic action momentarily halted the enemy advance and enabled his unit to counterattack and retake the lost ground.

The indomitable fighting spirit, outstanding courage, and tenacious devotion to duty clearly demonstrated by Cpl. Hernandez reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry, and the U.S. Army.

Tributes: Harvey C. Barnum, Jr., Colonel (O-6), U.S. Marine Corps

[custom_frame_left]HCBarnum[/custom_frame_left]His Medal of Honor Citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. When the company was suddenly pinned down by a hail of extremely accurate enemy fire and was quickly separated from the remainder of the battalion by over 500 meters of open and fire-swept ground, and casualties mounted rapidly. Lt. Barnum quickly made a hazardous reconnaissance of the area, seeking targets for his artillery. Finding the rifle company commander mortally wounded and the radio operator killed, he, with complete disregard for his safety, gave aid to the dying commander, then removed the radio from the dead operator and strapped it to himself. He immediately assumed command of the rifle company, and moving at once into the midst of the heavy fire, rallying and giving encouragement to all units, reorganized them to replace the loss of key personnel and led their attack on enemy positions from which deadly fire continued to come. His sound and swift decisions and his obvious calm served to stabilize the badly decimated units and his gallant example as he stood exposed repeatedly to point out targets served as an inspiration to all. Provided with 2 armed helicopters, he moved fearlessly through enemy fire to control the air attack against the firmly entrenched enemy while skillfully directing 1 platoon in a successful counterattack on the key enemy positions. Having thus cleared a small area, he requested and directed the landing of 2 transport helicopters for the evacuation of the dead and wounded. He then assisted in the mopping up and final seizure of the battalion’s objective. His gallant initiative and heroic conduct reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. [custom_frame_rightHCBarnumRibbons[/custom_frame_right]

More about Col. Barnum:

H.C. “Barney” Barnum was born on July 21, 1940, in Cheshire, Connecticut. He was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Marine Corps, in June 1962. Lt Barnum served with the 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa from February 1963 to April 1964. His next assignment was with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, from April 1964 to March 1965, followed by service as Guard Officer at Marine Barracks, NB Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, from March to December 1965.

Lt Barnum deployed to Southeast Asia in December 1965, and served as an artillery forward observer with Co. H, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, from December 1965 to June 1966, followed by service as Operations Officer, Hawaiian Armed Forces Police, from June 1966 to March 1967. Capt Barnum served with Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps in the Pentagon from September 1967 to October 1968, and then returned to Vietnam, where he served as commander of Battery E, 2nd Battalion, 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, from October 1968 to October 1969. He served as a weapons instructor with the Basic School at Quantico from November 1969 to August 1971, and then attended the Amphibious Warfare School at Quantico from August 1971 to March 1972. His next assignment was as Operations Officer and then Executive Officer with the 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, from March 1972 to June 1974, followed by service on the staff of the 2nd Marine Division from June 1974 to June 1975. He attended Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, from June 1975 to June 1976, and then served as the Fire Support Coordinator for the 9th Amphibious Brigade of the 3rd Marine Division, and then Regimental Inspector for the 12th Marine Regiment, from June 1976 to September 1977.

Col Barnum commanded Headquarters Company, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, from September 1977 to May 1979, and he then commanded the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion from June 1979 to March 1981. He served as Depot Inspector at Parris Island from March to July 1981, followed by Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, from July 1981 to June 1982. His next assignment was with the Host Nation Support Branch Logistics Directorate of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (redesignated U.S. Central Command in January 1983) at MacDill AFB, Florida, from June 1982 to May 1983, followed by service as Chief of the Current Operations Division, Operations Directorate for USCENTCOM from May 1983 to August 1985. Col Barnum served as Deputy Director of Public Affairs with Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps from August 1985 to July 1986, and then served as Director of the Special Projects Division from July 1986 to June 1987. He served as Military Secretary to the Commandant of the Marine Corps from July 1987 to March 1989, followed by service as Special Assistant to the Commandant from April 1989 until his retirement from the Marine Corps on August 1, 1989

Tribute: Jack C. Rittichier, Lieutenant (O-3), U.S. Coast Guard

[custom_frame_left shadow=”on”]JackCRittichier[/custom_frame_left] Jack Rittichier was born on August 17, 1933, in Akron, Ohio. He was commissioned a 2Lt in the U.S. Air Force through Officer Training School at Lackland AFB, Texas, in August 1957, and completed Undergraduate Pilot Training in December 1958. After completing combat crew training in the B-47 Stratojet bomber, Rittichier flew with the 340th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Missouri, until he left the Air Force in November 1962. He accepted a commission as a LT in the U.S. Coast Guard on September 26, 1963, and was trained as a search and rescue helicopter pilot. Rittichier was assigned to Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, from 1963 to May 1966, and then at Air Station Detroit, flying out of Selfridge AFB, Michigan, from May 1966 to April 1968. He then volunteered for an exchange program with the Air Force and began flying combat missions with the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Da Nang AB in the Republic of Vietnam. LT Rittichier was killed in action on June 9, 1968, while attempting to rescue a downed Marine Corps Aviator. His remains were finally recovered in 2002 and he was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on October 6, 2003.[custom_frame_right shadow=”on”]JackCRittichierRibbons[/custom_frame_right]

His Silver Star Citation reads:

LT JACK C RITTICHIER, United States Coast Guard, distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as Rescue Crew Commander of an HH-3E helicopter in Southeast Asia on 9 June 1968. On that date, LT RITTICHIER attempted the rescue of a downed pilot from one of the most heavily defended areas in Southeast Asia. Despite intense accurate hostile fire which had severely damaged another helicopter, LT RITTICHIER, with undaunted determination, indomitable courage, and professional skill, established a hover and persisted in the rescue attempt until his aircraft was downed by the hostile fire. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, LT RITTICHIER reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Coast Guard.

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