Honoring Heroes On Memorial Day 2017

Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth;
Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth…
~Thomas Moore

World War II Navy Medic Fred Lester

Medal of Honor Recipiant

While serving as a Medical Corpsman with an Assault Rifle Platoon, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa, 8 June 1945, Medic First Class Lester spotted a wounded marine lying in an open field beyond the front lines following an assault against a strategic Japanese hill position.

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Lester unhesitatingly crawled toward the casualty under a concentrated barrage from hostile machine guns, rifles, and grenades. Torn by enemy rifle bullets as he inched forward, he stoically disregarded the mounting fury of Japanese fire and his own pain to pull the wounded man toward a covered position. Struck by enemy fire a second time before he reached cover, he exerted tremendous effort and succeeded in pulling his comrade to safety where, too seriously wounded himself to administer aid, he instructed two members of his squad in proper medical treatment of the rescued marine.

Realizing that his own wounds were fatal, he staunchly refused medical attention for himself and, gathering his waning strength he coolly and expertly directed his men in the treatment of two other wounded marines. Shortly thereafter he succumbed to his own wounds.

Completely selfless in his concern for the welfare of his fighting comrades, Lester, by his indomitable spirit, outstanding valor, and competent direction of others, had saved the life of one who otherwise would have perished and contributed to the safety of countless others. Lester’s fortitude in the face of certain death sustains and enhances the highest traditions of the U.S. Military. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

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