Richard David De Wert (17 November 1931 – 5 April 1951) was a hospital corpsman of the United States Navy who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Korean War.
Richard De Wert was born on 17 November
1931 in Taunton
. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in December 1948. Following "boot camp
" and Hospital Corps training at NS Great Lakes
, he was assigned to the Naval Hospital at Portsmouth, Virginia
, during 1949–50. In July 1950, he joined the Fleet Marine Force
and soon sailed for the Far East to take part in the Korean War. Landing with the First Marine Division at Inchon
in September 1950, Hospitalman De Wert participated in operations to liberate the city of Seoul
. During the rest of 1950, he was involved in the landings at Wonsan
, the Chosin Reservoir Campaign
and the Hungnam
In 1951, Hospitalman De Wert served with the Marines
as they cleared North Korean guerrillas
from rural areas of South Korea
and as they helped drive the enemy beyond the Thirty-eighth Parallel. On 5 April 1951
, while with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines
during an attack on Chinese Communist forces
, De Wert persistently, and in spite of his own wounds, moved through fire-swept ground to aid fallen Marines. He was killed in action while administering first aid to an injured comrade.
The frigate USS De Wert
(FFG-45) was named in honor of Hospitalman De Wert.
Awards and decorations
De Wert's awards include:
Medal of Honor citation
- For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a HC, in action against enemy aggressor forces. When a fire team from the point platoon of his company was pinned down by a deadly barrage of hostile automatic weapons fired and suffered many casualties, HC Dewert rushed to the assistance of 1 of the more seriously wounded and, despite a painful leg wound sustained while dragging the stricken marine to safety, steadfastly refused medical treatment for himself and immediately dashed back through the fireswept area to carry a second wounded man out of the line of fire. Undaunted by the mounting hail of devastating enemy fire, he bravely moved forward a third time and received another serious wound in the shoulder after discovering that a wounded marine had already died. Still persistent in his refusal to submit to first aid,he resolutely answered the call of a fourth stricken comrade and, while rendering medical assistance, was himself mortally wounded by a burst of enemy fire. His courageous initiative, great personal valor, and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of overwhelming odds reflect the highest credit upon HC Dewert and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.