COL (RET) Lewis L. Millett received the Medal of Honor during the Korean War for leading what is reported to have been the last major bayonet charge by an Amerocan. COL (RET) Millet passed on Nov 14.
His Medal of Honor citation states in part:
“Despite vicious opposing fire, the whirlwind hand-to-hand assault carried to the crest of the hill. His dauntless leadership and personal courage so inspired his men that they stormed into the hostile position and used their bayonets with such lethal effect that the enemy fled in wild disorder.”
During the attack, CPT Millet charged machine gun emplacements, hurled grenades into bunkers and laid down suppressing fire as he led two platoons to rescue a third platoon which had been pinned down by enemy fire. He was wounded by grenade fragments but refused to be evacuated until after the platoon was relieved and the objective secured.
Our Heroes should be remembered.
After World War II, Millett attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, for three years before being called up to serve in Korea. Over a decade later, in the 1960s, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Park College (now known as Park University) in Missouri.
By February 7, 1951, Millett was serving in Korea as a captain and commander of Company E of the 27th Infantry Regiment. On that day, near Soam-Ni, he led his company in an assault on an enemy position atop Hill 180. When one platoon became pinned down by heavy fire, Millett took another platoon forward, joined the two groups, and led them up the hill. Wielding his bayonet and throwing hand grenades, Millett yelled encouragement to his soldiers throughout the hand to hand fight. Upon reaching the top of the hill, his men stormed the enemy position and forced the opposing soldiers to withdraw. Although wounded in the shin by grenade fragments, Millett refused to be evacuated until the position was secured. Historian S.L.A. Marshall described the attack as “the most complete bayonet charge by American troops since Cold Harbor.”
For his leadership during the assault, Millett was awarded the Medal of Honor. The medal was formally presented to him by President Harry S. Truman in July 1951. He was also awarded the Army’s second-highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross, for leading another bayonet charge in the same month.
The Medal of Honor is the highest U.S. military decoration awarded to individuals who, while serving in the U.S. armed services, have distinguished themselves by conspicuous gallantry and courage at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty. Each recommendation for this decoration must incontestably prove that the act of bravery or self-sacrifice involved obvious risk of life and, if the risk hadn’t been taken, there would be no
just grounds for censure. The award is made in the name of congress and is presented by the President of the United States. Originally authorized by congress in 1861, it’s sometimes called the “Congressional Medal of Honor.”
COL Millet was one bad ass dude. Read his wiki page (lined above) and if you aren’t impressed, you’re Superman or braindead.