Walter Carleton Monegan, Jr. (February 25, 1930 – September 20, 1950) was a United States Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Korea, where he gave his life to help repulse an overwhelming enemy tank and infantry attack. He was killed on September 20, 1950, near Seoul, as he calmly stepped out into the heavy fire of an enemy tank-infantry attack and proceeded to methodically knock out the tanks at close range with his bazooka.
The Medal of Honor was presented to his widow by Secretary of the Navy Daniel A. Kimball, during ceremonies on February 8, 1952, in Washington, D.C.
He returned to the United States in June 1949 and was stationed at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California, until June 1950, when he was ordered to the Marine Barracks, Naval Air Station, Seattle. While in Seattle, Monegan married. His son is Walt Monegan.
Monegan shipped out to Korea where he participated in the Inchon landing on September 15, 1950. His unit then moved on toward Seoul. Five days later, as outside of Seoul, near Sosa-ri, he was killed in action while knocking out a tank attack. He was originally buried in Inchon, Korea, but was reinterred on July 19, 1951 in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
In addition to the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart, his decorations include: the Presidential Unit Citation with one bronze star; the China Service Medal; and the Korean Service Medal with one bronze star.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rocket Gunner attached to Company F, Second Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces near Sosa-ri, Korea, on 17 and September 20, 1950. Dug in a hill overlooking the main Seoul highway when six enemy tanks threatened to break through the Battalion position during a pre-dawn attack on September 17, Private First Class Monegan promptly moved forward with his bazooka under heavy hostile automatic weapons fire and engaged the lead tank at a range of less than 50 yards. After scoring a direct hit and killing the sole surviving tankman with his carbine as he came through the escape hatch, he boldly fired two more rounds of ammunition at the oncoming tanks, disorganizing the attack and enabling our tank crews to continue blasting with their 90-mm,. guns. With his own and an adjacent company's position threatened by annihilation when an overwhelming enemy tank-infantry force by-passed the area and proceeded toward the battalion Command Post during the early morning of September 20, he seized his rocket launcher and, in total darkness, charged down the slope of the hill where the tanks had broken through. Quick to act when illuminating shell hit the area, he scored a direct hit on one of the tanks as hostile rifle and automatic weapons fire raked the area at close range. Again exposing himself he fired another round to destroy a second tank and, as the rear tank turned to retreat, stood upright to fire and was fatally struck down by hostile machine-gun fire when another illuminating shell silhouetted him against the sky. Private First Class Monegan's daring initiative, gallant fighting spirit and courageous devotion to duty were contributing factors in the success of his company in repelling the enemy and his self-sacrificing efforts throughout sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country./S/ HARRY S. TRUMAN