The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom

Private First Class

United States Marine Corps Reserve

Herbert Littleton



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Radio Operator with an Artillery Forward Observation Team of Company C, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 22 April 1951. Standing watch when a well-concealed and numerically superior enemy force launched a violent night attack from near- by positions against his company, Private First Class Littleton quickly alerted the forward observation team and immediately moved into an advantageous position to assist in calling down artillery fire on the hostile force. When an enemy hand grenade was thrown into his vantage point shortly after the arrival of the remainder of the team, he unhesitatingly hurled himself on the deadly missile, absorbing its full, shattering impact in his own body. By his prompt action and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice, he saved the other members of his team from serious injury or death and enabled them to carry on the vital mission which culminated in the repulse of the hostile attack. His indomitable valor in the face of almost certain death reflects the highest credit upon Private First Class Littleton and the United States Naval
Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

President of the United States

Private First Class Herbert A. Littleton, 20, of Nampa, Idaho, earned the Medal of Honor in Korea for sacrificing his life to save his comrades.

The nation’s highest award for valor was earned by PFC Littleton for extraordinary heroism on 22 April 1951, at Chungehon, when he smothered an enemy grenade with his body. PFC Littleton was the 16th Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for heroism in Korea.

Born 1 July 1930, in Mena, Arkansas, his family then lived in Black Hawk, South Dakota. He attended high school in Sturgis, South Dakota, where he played basketball and football, and graduated from elementary school in East Port Orchard, Washington. He was employed by Electrical Appliance Corporation, Rapid City, South Dakota, before enlisting in the Marine Corps Reserve on 29 July 1948.

Following recruit training in San Diego, California, he trained at Camp Pendleton, and went to Korea with the 3d Replacement Draft, fighting in South and Central Korean operations from 17 December 1950 until his death.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, PFC Littleton was awarded the Purple Heart; Korean Service Medal with one bronze star; and the United Nations Service Medal.

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