The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients
Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom
WALTER C. MONEGAN JR.
Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
Walter C. Monegan Jr.
Private First Class Walter C. Monegan Jr.
United States Marine Corps
For service as set forth in the following:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rocket Gunner attached to Company F, Second Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces near Sosa-ri, Korea on 17 and 20 September 1950. Dug in on a hill overlooking the main Seoul highway when six enemy tanks threatened to break through the Battalion position during a pre-dawn attack on 17 September, Private First Class Monegan promptly moved forward with his bazooka under heavy hostile automatic weapons fire and engaged the lead tank at a range of less than 50 yards. After scoring a direct hit and killing the sole surviving tankman with his carbine as he came through the escape hatch, he boldly fired two more rounds of ammunition at the oncoming tanks, disorganizing the attack and enabling our tank crews to continue blasting with their 90-mm, guns. With his own and an adjacent company's position threatened by annihilation when an overwhelming enemy tank-infantry force by-passed the area and proceeded toward the battalion Command Post during the early morning of September 20, he seized his rocket launcher and, in total darkness, charged down the slope of the hill where the tanks had broken through. Quick to act when illuminating shell hit the area, he scored a direct hit on one of the tanks as hostile rifle and automatic weapons fire raked the area at close range. Again exposing himself he fired another round to destroy a second tank and, as the rear tank turned to retreat, stood upright to fire and was fatally struck down by hostile machine-gun fire when another illuminating shell silhouetted im against the sky. Private First Class Monegan's daring initiative, gallant fighting spirit and courageous devotion to duty were contributing factors in the success of his company in repelling the enemy and his self-sacrificing efforts throughout sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Harry S. Truman
President of the United States
Private First Class Walter C. Monegan, Jr., earned the Medal of Honor in Korea when he gave his life to help repulse an overwhelming enemy tank and infantry attack. He was killed 20 September 1950, near Seoul, as he calmly stepped out into the heavy fire of an enemy tank-infantry attack and proceeded to methodically knock out the tanks at close range with his rocket.
The Medal of Honor was presented to his widow by Secretary of the Navy Daniel A. Kimball, during ceremonies 8 February 1952, in Washington, D.C.
Walter Carleton Monegan, Jr., was born 25 December 1930 in Melrose, Massachusetts. He attended schools in Malden, Reading, and Walpole, Massachusetts, and in November 1947 (before his seventeenth birthday), enlisted in the Army. He was discharged in January 1948, when his age was discovered, and enlisted in the Marine Corps, 22 March 1948 in Baltimore, Maryland.
After completing his recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina, in June 1948, PFC Monegan was ordered to San Francisco, where he sailed for duty in China with the 3d Marines at Tsingtao.
He returned to the United States in June 1949 and was stationed at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California, until June 1950, when he was ordered to the Marine Barracks, Naval Air Station, Seattle. He reenlisted, 20 July 1950, and the following month returned to Camp Pendleton, where he joined the 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, with which he fought in Korea.
He participated in the Inchon landing, 15 September 1950 and was killed in action five days later. He was originally buried in Inchon, Korea, but was reinterred, 19 July 1951, in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
In addition to the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart Medal, his decorations include: the Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze star; the China Service Medal; and the Korean Service Medal with one bronze star.