The Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor was established during the American Civil War. It was the first decoration formally adopted by the United States government to be worn as a badge of honor and was authorized,

" ... to each person who while an officer or enlisted person ... shall have distinguished himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty in action involving actual conflict with the enemy. The deed performed must have been of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual for gallantry and intrepidity above his or her comrades and must have involved the risk of life."

Although similar in appearance, the Army, Navy and Air Force each has its own distinct version. It is sometimes referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor because it is presented "in the name of the Congress of the United States."

Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard
Army
Air Force

Medal of Honor Recipients from Minnesota

Civil War

Jesse T. Barrick, Rice County
Cpl, 3rd Minnesota Infantry, near Duck River, Tennessee,
26 May-2 June 1863

Joseph Burger, Crystal Lake
Pvt., 2nd Minnesota Infantry, at Nolensville, Tennessee,
15 February 1863

Clinton A. Cilley, Sasioja
Capt., 2nd Minnesota Infantry, at Chickamauga, Georgia,
20 September 1863

William A. Clark, Shelbyville
Cpl, 2nd Minnesota Infantry, at Nolensville, Tennessee,
15 February 1863

James Flannigan, Scott County
Pvt., 2nd Minnesota Infantry, at Nolensville, Tennessee,
15 February 1863

Thomas P. Gere
1st Lt, 5th Minnesota Infantry, at Nashville, Tennessee
16 December 1864

Milton Hanna, Henderson
Cpl, 2nd Minnesota Infantry, at Nolensville, Tennesee,
15 February 1863

Lovilo N. Holmes, Mankato
1st Sgt., 2nd Minnesota Infantry, at Nolensville, Tennessee
15 February 1863

John G. Merritt, Winona
Sgt., 1st Minnesota Infantry, at Manassas, Virginia,
21 July 1861

Henry D. O'Brien, St. Anthony Falls
Cpl., 1st Minnesota Infantry, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,
3 July 1863

Byron E. Pay, Mankato
Pvt., 2nd Minnesota Infantry, at Nolensville, Tennessee,
15 February 1863

Alonzo H. Pickle, Dover
Sgt., 1st Bn Minnesota Infantry, at Deep Bottom, Virginia,
14 August 1864

Axel H. Reed, Glencoe
Sgt., 2nd Minnesota Infantry, at Chickamauga, Georgia,
19 September 1863

Marshall Sherman, St. Paul
Pvt., 1st Minnesota Infantry, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,
3 July 1863

John Vale, Rochester
Pvt., 2nd Minnesota Infantry, at Nolensville, Tennessee,
15 February 1863

Samuel Wright, Swan Lake
Cpl., 2nd Minnesota Infantry, at Nolensville, Tennessee
15 February 1863

Spanish American War & Philippine Insurrection

Harry Bell, Minneapolis
Capt., 36th Infantry, US Volunteers, near Porac, Luzon, Philippine Islands,
17 October 1899  

 

Indian Campaigns

George E. Albee, Owatonna
1st Lt., 41st US Infantry, at Brazos River, Texas,
28 October 1869 

Oscar Burkard, Hay Creek
Pvt., US Army Hospital Corps, at Leech Lake, Minnesota,
5 October 1898 
(Burkhard received the last Medal of Honor to be awarded in an Indian campaign) 

Eli L. Huggins, Minneapolis
Capt., 2nd US Cavalry, at O'Fallons Creek, Montana
1 April 1880 

George H. Morgan, Minneapolis
2nd Lt., 3rd US Cavalry, at Big Dry Fork, Arizona,
17 July 1882 

John Tracy, St. Paul
Pvt., 8th US Cavalry,  at Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona,
20 October 1869 

Charles H. Welch, Ft. Snelling
Sgt., 7th US Cavalry, at Little Big Horn, Montana
25-26 June 1876  

William O. Wilson, St. Paul
Corporal, Co. I, 9th U.S. Cavalry,  Sioux Campaign
1890

Mexican Expedition

Albertus Wright Catlin, Minnesota
Maj., US Marine Corps, at Veracruz, Mexico,
22 April 1914 

Jesse Farley Dyer, St. Paul
Capt., US Marine Corps, at Veracruz, Mexico,
21-22 April 1914  

World War I

Louis Cukela, Minnepolis

Sgt., US Marine Corps, 5th Regt., at Forest de Retz
near Viller-Cottertes, France,
18 July 1918 

(Sergeant Cukela received both the Navy and Army Medal of Honor for his actions that day.)

George H. Mallon, Minneapolis
Capt., US Army, 132nd Infantry, 33rd Division,
at Bois-de-Forges, France,
26 September 1918 

World War II

Willibald C. Bianchi, New Ulm
1st Lt., US Army, 45th Infantry, Philippine Scouts, at Bataan Province, Philippine Islands,
3 February 1942 

Mike Colalillo, Duluth
PFC, US Army, 398th Infantry, 100th Infantry Division, near Untergriesheim, Germany,
7 April 1945 

Henry A. Courtney, Jr., Duluth
Maj., US Marine Corps, 2nd Bn., 22nd Marines, 6th Marine Division, at Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Islands,
14-15 May 1945 

Richard E. Fleming, St. Paul
Capt., US Marine Corps, Marine Scout-Bombing Sqdn. 241 at Midway Island,
4-5 June 1942 

Louis J. Hauge Jr., Ada
Cpl., US Marine Corps, 1st Bn, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, at Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Islands,
14 May1945 

Lloyd C. Hawks, Park Rapids
PFC., US Army, 3rd Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division,
at Carano, Italy,
30 January 1944 

Richard E. Kraus, Minnesota
PFC., US Marine Corps, 8th Amphibious Tractor Bn., Fleet Marine Force, at Peleliu, Palau Islands,
5 October 1944  

James D. LaBelle, Columbia Heights
PFC., US Marine Corps, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, at Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands,
8 March 1945 

Donald E. Rudolph, Minneapolis
2nd Lt., US Army, 20th Infantry, 6th Infantry Division, at Munoz, Luzon Province, Philippine Islands,
5 February 1945 

Richard K. Sorenson, Anoka
Pvt., US Marine Corps, 4th Marine Division, at Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands,
1-2 February 1944 

Korea

John U. D. Page, St. Paul
LTC, U.S. Army, X Corps Artillery, attached to 52nd Transportation Truck Bn.  Near Chosin Reservoir, Korea
29 November - 10 December 1950

Vietnam

Kenneth L. Olson, Willmar
Spec. 4, US Army,  5th Bn, 12th Infantry, 199th Infantry Brigade,  South Vietnam,
13 May 1968 

Robert J. Pruden, St. Paul
Staff Sgt., US Army, 75th Infantry, Americal Division, at Quang Ngai Province,
19 November  1969 

Laszlo Rabel, Minneapolis
Staff Sgt., US Army, 74th Infantry Det., 173rd Airborne Brigade, at Binh Dinh Province,
13 November1968 

Leo K. Thorsness, Walnut Grove
Maj., US Air Force, 357th Tactical Fighter Sqdn,
over North Vietnam,
19 April 1967 

Dale E. Wayrynen, Moose Lake
Spec. 4, US Army, 2nd Bn, 502nd Infantry, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, at Quang Ngai Province,
18 May 1967

Special

Charles A. Lindbergh, Little Falls
Capt., US Army Air Corps Reserve.  "For displaying heroic courage and skill as a navigator by his nonstop flight in his airplane Spirit of St. Louis  from New York to Paris."
20-21 May 1927 

Oscar F. Nelson, Minneapolis
Machinist's Mate, US Navy.  "For extraordinary heroism displayed at the time of an explosion of a boiler aboard the USS Bennington, at San Diego, California."
21 July 1905 

George W. Rud, Minneapolis
Chief Machinist's Mate, US Navy, "For extraordinary heroism in the line of duty aboard the U.S.S. Memphis  while anchored during a hurricane off Santo Domingo City."
29 August 1916