The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

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

WHITT L. MORELAND
Private First Class
United States Marine Corps Reserve
Whitt Moreland

 

Citation

Private First Class Whitt L. Moreland
United States Marine Corps Reserve

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Intelligence Scout attached to Company C, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 29 May 1951. Voluntarily accompanying a rifle platoon in a daring assault against a strongly defended enemy hill position, Private First Class Moreland delivered accurate rifle fire on the hostile emplacement and thereby aided materially in seizing the objective. After the position had been secured, he unhesitatingly led a party forward to neutralize an enemy bunker which he had observed some 400 meters beyond and, moving boldly through a fireswept area, almost reached the hostile emplacement when the enemy launched a volley of hand grenades on his group. Quick to act despite the personal danger involved, he kicked several of the grenades off the ridgeline where they exploded harmlessly and, while attempting to kick away another, slipped and fell near the deadly missile. Aware that the sputtering grenade would explode before he could regain his feet and dispose of it, he shouted a warning to his comrades, covered the missile with his body and absorbed the full blast of the explosion, but in saving his companions from possible injury or death, was mortally wounded. His heroic initative and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death reflect the highest credit upon Private First Class Moreland and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Harry S. Truman
President of the United States

Footnote:  Private First Class Whitt Herman Moreland was born on March 7, 1930 in Waco, Texas to  Mr. & Mrs. Lloyd W. Moreland. Whitt entered the Marine Corps in Austin, Texas. He served as a Intelligence Scout with Company C, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced). He was killed in action and is buried at Whittington Cemetery, Mount Ida, Arkansas.

Private First Class Whitt L. Moreland, 21, of Austin, Texas, earned the Medal of Honor in Korea for sacrificing his life to save his comrades. The nation’s highest decoration for valor was awarded the youthful Marine posthumously for extraordinary heroism on 29 May 1951, at Kwagch’i-Dong, when he smothered a hand grenade with his body to save the lives of his fellow Marines. He was the 17th Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Korean conflict. The Medal of Honor was presented to his parents.

Born in Waco, Texas, 7 March 1930, Whitt Lloyd Moreland attended public school in Austin, and graduated from Junction High School in 1948, where he played football for two years. In September 1948, he enlisted in the Marine Corps for one year, serving in San Diego and Camp Pendleton, California. Upon discharge he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve for six years. On 30 November 1950, he was called to active duty, and received advanced training at Camp Pendleton, California.

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

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