The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

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

Second Lieutenant
United States Marine Corps
Robert Reem



Second Lieutenant Robert D. Reem
United States Marine Corps

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty as Platoon Commander in Company H, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of Chinhung-ni, Korea, on 6 November 1950. Grimly determined to dislodge a group of heavy enemy infantry units occupying well-concealed and strongly fortified positions on commanding ground overlooking unprotected terrain, Second Lieutenant Reem moved slowly forward up the side of the ridge with his platoon in the face of a veritable hail of shattering hostile machine-gun, grenade and rifle fire. Three times repulsed by a resolute enemy force in achieving his objective, and pinned down by the continuing fury of hostile fire, rallied and regrouped the heroic men in his depleted and disorganized platoon in preparation for a forth attack. Issuing last-minute orders to his non-commissioned officers when an enemy grenade landed in a depression of rocky ground in which the group was standing. Second Lieutenant Reem unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and, springing upon the deadly missile, absorbed the full impact of the explosion in his own body, thus protecting others form serious injury and possible death, Stout-hearted and indomitable, he readily yielded his own chance of survival that his subordinate leaders might live. Decisiveness and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death reflect the highest credit upon Second Lieutenant Reem and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Harry S. Truman
President of the United States

Second Lieutenant Robert Dale Reem earned the Medal of Honor in Korea when he threw himself on an enemy grenade, sacrificing his own life to save his men.

The 26-year-old Marine was commanding an infantry platoon near Chinhung-ni, North Korea, on 26 December 1950. He was preparing his men for an assault on an enemy position when the grenade landed among them. Without hesitation he smothered the grenade’s explosion with his own body to save the rest of the group from death or serious injury.

The Medal of Honor was presented to his widow by Secretary of the Navy Daniel A. Kimball at ceremonies on 8 February 1952 in Washington, D.C.

Robert Dale Reem was born 20 October 1925 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Elizabethtown High School in June 1943. During his final year of high school, he was a page in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from January to May 1943.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1943, completed his recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina, in October and was selected for appointment to the Naval Academy at that time. He attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School at the Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland, before entering the Academy in June 1944.

He was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant 4 June 1948, upon his graduation from Annapolis. In June 1949, he completed the Basic School at Quantico, Virginia, where he remained with the Special Training Regiment until that August. In December 1949, after several months at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, with the 3d Battalion, 6th Marines, 2d Marine Division, he was assigned with that battalion to duty with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean.

In August 1950, the battalion was ordered to Korea, where it joined the 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. 2dLt Reem fought with his battalion in the Inchon landing, the capture of Seoul, and the fighting in North Korea. He was buried in the United Nations Cemetery near Hamhung, North Korea. His body was later returned to the United States for burial in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, his decorations include: the Purple Heart Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze star, the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars, the American Area Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

                Return to Main Page