Lee R. Hartell

Lee R. Hartell

Lee R. Hartell was a soldier in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on August 27, 1951.

By 26 August 1951, First Lieutenant Hartell was on the ground as a forward observer with B Company, 9th Infantry Regiment at the base of Hill 700 near Kobanson-ni. Hill 700 was attacked and taken by B Company that day. But the Chinese mounted a major counterattack at 0400 hours. Hartell walked the artillery fire right up the hill on top of the charging enemy. Although many of the enemy were cut down, they just kept coming. Although wounded, he kept calling in artillery fire onto his hilltop. Finally at 0630 hours, Hartell was hit in the chest by a bullet and his phone went dead.

Medal of Honor citation

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Battery A, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2d Infantry Division

Place and date: Near Kobangsan-ni, Korea, 27 August 1951

Entered service at: Danbury, Conn. Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

G.O. No.: 16, 1 February 1952.

Citation:

1st. Lt. Hartell, a member of Battery A, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations. During the darkness of early morning, the enemy launched a ruthless attack against friendly positions on a rugged mountainous ridge. 1st Lt. Hartell, attached to Company B, 9th Infantry Regiment, as forward observer, quickly moved his radio to an exposed vantage on the ridge line to adjust defensive fires. Realizing the tactical advantage of illuminating the area of approach, he called for flares and then directed crippling fire into the onrushing assailants. At this juncture a large force of hostile troops swarmed up the slope in banzai charge and came within 10 yards of 1st Lt. Hartell's position. 1st Lt. Hartell sustained a severe hand wound in the ensuing encounter but grasped the microphone with his other hand and maintained his magnificent stand until the front and left flank of the company were protected by a close-in wall of withering fire, causing the fanatical foe to disperse and fall back momentarily. After the numerically superior enemy overran an outpost and was closing on his position, 1st Lt. Hartell, in a final radio call, urged the friendly elements to fire both batteries continuously. Although mortally wounded, 1st Lt. Hartell's intrepid actions contributed significantly to stemming the onslaught and enabled his company to maintain the strategic strongpoint. His consummate valor and unwavering devotion to duty reflect lasting glory on himself and uphold the noble traditions of the military service.

Legacy

One of the main roads at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, was renamed Hartell Boulevard in his honor. Connecticut Army National Guard has named one of its training installations Camp Hartell

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References

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