27 February 2008

Medal of Honor to be awarded for Korean War

ZUI this article from Stars and Stripes:
A Native American soldier who fought in World War II and the Korean War will be posthumously honored with the Medal of Honor next month, White House officials announced Friday.

Retired Master Sgt. Woodrow Keeble, a South Dakota native who died in 1984, will be recognized for actions in North Korea in October 1951. According to Army records, he ignored life-threatening wounds to take out three mountainside enemy pillboxes which had pinned down a U.S. platoon.

Keeble was initially awarded a Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star and a Purple Heart for those actions, but members of his state’s congressional delegation have pushed for Medal of Honor recognition for him for years.

ZUI also this article from the Native American Times:
A member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Sioux, Keeble served in two wars and is one of the most decorated soldiers in history, yet he was never considered for the Medal of Honor due to bureaucratic mix-ups. Now, more than 20 years after his death and 50 years after his military service, Keeble will receive the nation's highest military honor.


Born in Waubay, South Dakota, Keeble moved to Wahpeton, North Dakota as a child. When he was old enough, Keeble joined the North Dakota National Guard and, in 1942, shipped out to the South Pacific with the North Dakota 164th Infantry Regiment.

On the island of Guadalcanal, Keeble saw some of the most intense combat of WWII. In late October 1942, Keeble - known by his fellow soldiers as Chief - was wounded in an attempt to rescue his comrades. He was recognized for his actions and awarded his first Bronze Star and the first of his four Purple Hearts.

And this article from the Jamestown (ND) Sun:
At age 34 he went to war again in Korea where he earned the Distinguished Service Cross, three more Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star for his courage.

The action for which he is now being awarded the Medal of Honor was described by the soldiers in the platoon he was leading. In November 1951 and in December 1951 every surviving member of his company signed a letter recommending Keeble for the Medal of Honor. In both cases, the paperwork was lost somewhere between the battlefield and the Defense Department.

Wikipedia has an article about MSG Keeble here.

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