The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients
Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom
HOSPITAL APPRENTICE FIRST CLASS FRED F. LESTER
UNITED STATES NAVY
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Medical Corpsman with an Assault Rifle Platoon attached to the 1st Battalion, 22d Marines, 6th Marine Division during action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain on 8 June 1945. Quick to spot a wounded Marine lying in an open field beyond the front lines following the relentless assault against a strategic Japanese hill position, Petty Officer Lester unhesitatingly crawled toward the casualty under a concentrated barrage from hostile machine-guns, rifles, and grenades. Torn by enemy rifle bullets as he inched forward, he stoically disregarded the mounting fury of Japanese fire and his own pain to pull the wounded man toward a covered position. Struck by enemy fire a second time before he reached cover, Petty Officer Lester exerted tremendous effort and succeeded in pulling his comrade to safety where, too seriously wounded to administer aid, he instructed two of his squad in proper medical treatment of the rescued Marine. Realizing that his own wounds were fatal, he staunchly refused medical attention for himself and, gathering his fast-waning strength with calm determination, coolly and expertly directed his men in the treatment of two other wounded Marines, succumbing shortly thereafter. Completely selfless in his concern for the welfare of his fighting comrades, Petty Officer Lester, by his indomitable spirit, outstanding valor, and competent direction of others, had saved the life of one who otherwise must have perished and had contributed to the safety of countless others. By his exceptional fortitude, inspiring initiative, and selfless devotion to duty, Petty officer Lester reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of United States Naval service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
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