Medal of Honor
#1

Col. Reginald Myers Dies; Medal of Honor Recipient

 

By Matt Schudel

Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 23, 2005; B05

 

Reginald R. Myers, 85, a Marine Corps colonel who

received the Medal of Honor in the Korean War for

leading his vastly outnumbered force in an assault on

a key position during the Battle of the Chosin

Reservoir, died Oct. 23 at a hospice in West Palm

Beach, Fla., of the effects of a stroke. He had lived

in Jupiter, Fla., since moving there from Annandale in

1993.

 

Before Col. Myers set foot in Korea, he was a veteran

of some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific during

World War II. As a young Marine officer who rose

through the ranks from second lieutenant to major in

less than four years, he fought at Guadalcanal, the

Solomon Islands, the Marshall Islands and in the

Battle of Okinawa.

 

He went to Korea in July 1950 as a battalion executive

officer in the 1st Marine Division. He received two

Bronze Stars four days apart in September, first as

part of the U.S. invasion at Inchon and later for

rescuing two wounded Marines.

 

In late November 1950, Col. Myers's assignment was to

recapture a high point of land near the Chosin

Reservoir called East Hill. An Army unit trying to

defend the hill had been driven from its position by

Communist Chinese troops. Ordered to retake the hill

to secure a safe evacuation for the outmanned United

Nations forces, Col. Myers -- then a major -- did not

have a standard fighting force to command.

 

"I had no Marine rifle company or unit of any type in

my area," he told the Idaho Military Historical

Society in a 2001 interview. "So, as I walked toward

East Hill, I formed my own combat element from support

Marines, such as cooks, truck drivers, maintenance

personnel and administrative personnel, recruiting

Marines along the way. I ended up with about 50

hard-charging Marines that were raring to go and

anxious to get into the fight, and the 200 soldiers at

the bottom of East Hill -- 250 overall."

 

With that small, improvised unit, Col. Myers led an

attack against an entrenched force of 4,000 Chinese

troops Nov. 29, 1950. The conditions could not have

been more forbidding: He launched his charge at night,

up a steep, snow-covered hill in biting wind and a

temperature of 23 degrees below zero.

 

Only 80 of Col. Myers's 250 troops reached the summit

with him, but they were able to hold the hill in spite

of steady machine-gun fire and repeated Chinese

assaults. According to his Medal of Honor citation,

Col. Myers "persisted in constantly exposing himself

to intense, accurate, and sustained hostile fire in

order to direct and supervise the employment of his

men and to encourage and spur them on in pressing the

attack."

 

He directed artillery and mortar fire and set up

emplacements to defend the hill from Chinese efforts

to recapture it. The intense fighting lasted 14 hours

before reinforcements arrived. In that time, Col.

Myers's beleaguered force killed more than 600 Chinese

soldiers and wounded 500.

 

"I was proud of my Marines," he said four years ago.

"They proved that a Marine, whether a truck driver, a

cook, a clerk or whatever, was foremost a fighting

combat rifleman."

 

Reginald Rodney Myers was born Nov. 26, 1919, in

Boise, Idaho. He grew up in Boise and Salt Lake City,

where he went to high school, and graduated in 1941

from the University of Idaho. He was in the Army

Reserve before becoming a Marine officer in September

1941.

 

After serving in the Pacific in World War II, he took

part in the occupation of northern China and was later

stationed at Marine bases across the United States.

 

After his heroic deeds at East Hill, Col. Myers

remained in Korea until he was wounded in action in

April 1951. In a White House ceremony six months

later, he received the Medal of Honor from President

Harry S. Truman. As an indication of the intensity of

the fighting at East Hill, the commander of the unit

that relieved Col. Myers's, Marine Capt. Carl Sitter,

was also awarded a Medal of Honor the same day.

 

Col. Myers served at Quantico Marine Base from 1953 to

1958, when he became assistant naval attach to the

U.S. Embassy in London. In 1961, he was named to the

Strategic Plans Division of the Chief of Naval

Operations at the Pentagon, and he later served at

Marine Corps headquarters.

 

He received a master's degree in business

administration from George Washington University in

1965 and retired from the Marines in 1967. In addition

to the Medal of Honor and two Bronze Stars, his

military decorations included the Legion of Merit and

Purple Heart.

 

In retirement, Col. Myers was the owner of Annandale

Marine and Sports Center, a retail recreational

boating business. He kept no military memorabilia at

his workplace, and most of his customers had no idea

he had once been a Marine who received the nation's

highest honor for valor.

 

He retired in 1993 and moved to Florida, where he

enjoyed gardening and boating. In his later years, he

participated in veterans' activities and traveled the

country to conventions with other recipients of the

Medal of Honor.

Reply
#2

Thank you for posting that Papa. To Reginald R. Myers, may you rest in peace sir. Say hi to all the other great vets who've gone before you. I know they will embrace you with open arms.

 

:pdt34:

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Reply
#3

Thanks for sharing that. May he rest in peace.

 

Brooke

Reply
#4

A life well lived, and a well deserved rest for one very courageous man.

 

Jim

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