20 March 2012

RIP: William R. Charette

William Richard Charette
29 Mar 1932 - 19 Mar 2012

ZUI this article from the Bradenton (FL) Herald:
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announces that Master Chief Hospital Corpsman William R. Charette, Medal of Honor recipient, passed away Sunday, March 18, 2012 in Lake Wales, Florida at age 79.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Dwight D. Eisenhower at a White House ceremony on January 12, 1954.

His heroic action occurred at the Panmunjam Corridor (DNZ) Korea, on March 27, 1953. As a Hospital Corpsman Third Class he served with the 1st Marine Division attached to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines.

Wikipedia has an article about Charette here.

There are now 81 living Medal of Honor recipients.

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Hospital Corpsman Third Class, US Navy; Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division

Born: 29 March 1932, Ludington, Michigan
Died: 19 March 2012, Lakeland, Florida

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against enemy aggressor forces [in Korea] during the early morning hours [of 27 March 1953]. Participating in a fierce encounter with a cleverly concealed and well-entrenched enemy force occupying positions on a vital and bitterly contested outpost far in advance of the main line of resistance, HC3c. Charette repeatedly and unhesitatingly moved about through a murderous barrage of hostile small-arms and mortar fire to render assistance to his wounded comrades. When an enemy grenade landed within a few feet of a marine he was attending, he immediately threw himself upon the stricken man and absorbed the entire concussion of the deadly missile with his body. Although sustaining painful facial wounds, and undergoing shock from the intensity of the blast which ripped the helmet and medical aid kit from his person, HC3c. Charette resourcefully improvised emergency bandages by tearing off part of his clothing, and gallantly continued to administer medical aid to the wounded in his own unit and to those in adjacent platoon areas as well. Observing a seriously wounded comrade whose armored vest had been torn from his body by the blast from an exploding shell, he selflessly removed his own battle vest and placed it upon the helpless man although fully aware of the added jeopardy to himself. Moving to the side of another casualty who was suffering excruciating pain from a serious leg wound, HC3c. Charette stood upright in the trench line and exposed himself to a deadly hail of enemy fire in order to lend more effective aid to the victim and to alleviate his anguish while being removed to a position of safety. By his indomitable courage and inspiring efforts in behalf of his wounded comrades, HC3c. Charette was directly responsible for saving many lives. His great personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Note: HMCM(SS) Charette retired from the Navy in 1977, after 26 years of service.

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