Thursday, May 16

South Korean president to honor U.S. Korean War vets throughout state go to to Washington

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will award his nation’s highest ornament for valor to 3 American veterans of the Korean War throughout his upcoming state go to to Washington.

The six-day go to will mark the seventieth anniversary of the alliance between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea.

President Yoon will award the Taegeuk Order of Military Merit to retired Army Col. Ralph Puckett and retired Navy Captain Elmer Royce Williams. He will even posthumously honor former Marine Corps 1st Lt. Baldomero Lopez, killed in the course of the Inchon Landing in September 1950.

It will mark the primary time a South Korean president has bestowed a army order exterior the nation, in line with the Yonhap information company.

Col. Puckett commanded the Eighth Army Ranger Company and fought off a number of waves of Chinese attackers after they captured Hill 205, a strategic location in the course of the Battle of the Chongchon River in November 1950. He was wounded and spent virtually a yr within the hospital.

He was initially awarded the Army’s Distinguished Service Cross after the battle. It was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor, America’s highest award for valor. President Biden introduced Col. Puckett with the ornament throughout a White House ceremony in May 2021.

“Col. Puckett is a Korean War hero. The colonel fulfilled his missions to the end with superhuman valor and leadership in countless combat (operations) including the Battle of Hill 205,” stated former South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who attended the Medal of Honor ceremony. “His sacrifices and those of the troops of the U.S. Eighth Army Ranger Company and other Korean War veterans have enabled Korea to bring freedom and democracy to full bloom.”

Navy Captain Elmer Royce Williams shot down a number of Soviet jet fighters throughout a single dogfight in November 1952. He was flying the F9F Panther, the U.S. Navy’s first jet fighter, on a fight air patrol close to the Yalu River, separating North Korea from China when seven MiG-15s jumped him.

Recently declassified Navy data stated Captain Williams downed 4 fighters and sure hit two others with gunfire throughout a 35-minute dogfight. Navy crews discovered virtually 300 bullet holes in his plane after he landed again on his plane service.

He later briefed high authorities officers — together with President Eisenhower — concerning the air battle. However, they swore him to secrecy out of concern of inflaming tensions with the Soviet Union. His Navy Cross award identifies the MiG-15s he shot down as “enemy aircraft.”

A nephew of Baldomero Lopez will attend the ceremony on his behalf. He was killed on Sept. 15, 1950, in the course of the Inchon Landing. He was struck by computerized fireplace as he was about to throw a hand grenade into an enemy pillbox. The explosive gadget fell to the bottom.

“He turned and dragged his body forward in an effort to retrieve the grenade and throw it. In critical condition from pain and loss of blood, and unable to grasp the hand grenade firmly enough to hurl it, he chose to sacrifice himself rather than endanger the lives of his men,” in line with the quotation for the Medal of Honor he obtained posthumously.

With his wounded proper arm, Lt. Lopez cradled the grenade below him and absorbed the complete influence of the explosion.

A grandson of Army Gen. James Van Fleet, who commanded the U.S. eighth Army in Korea from 1951-1953 and the eldest daughter of Korean War hero General Paik Sun-yup will attend the occasion as invited company, the Yonhap information company reported.

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