Born: August 31, 1924
Fall River, MA
War: Korean War
Rank: Lieutenant (J.G.) U.S.
Navy, pilot in Fighter Squadron 32 attached to U.S.S. Leyte
Location of action: Chosin Reservior area of
Date of action: December 4, 1950
Medal received from: President Harry Truman,
April 13, 1951
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his
life above and beyond the call of duty as a pilot in Fighter
Squadron 32, while attempting to rescue a squadron mate whose
plane struck by antiaircraft fire and trailing smoke, was forced
down behind enemy lines. Quickly maneuvering to circle the downed
pilot and protect him from enemy troops infesting the area,
Lt. (J.G.) Hudner risked his life to save the injured flier
who was trapped alive in the burning wreckage. Fully aware of
the extreme danger in landing on the rough mountainous terrain
and the scant hope of escape or survival in subzero temperature,
he put his plane down skillfully in a deliberate wheels-up landing
in the presence of enemy troops. With his bare hands, he packed
the fuselage with snow to keep the flames away from the pilot
and struggled to pull him free.
Unsuccessful in this, he returned
to his crashed aircraft and radioed other airborne planes, requesting
that a helicopter be dispatched with an ax and fire extinguisher.
He then remained on the spot despite the continuing danger from
enemy action and, with the assistance of the rescue pilot, renewed
a desperate but unavailing battle against time, cold, and flames.
Lt. (J.G.) Hudner's exceptionally valiant action and selfless
devotion to a shipmate sustain and enhance the highest traditions
of the U.S. Naval Service.
Hudner received the first Navy Medal Of Honor awarded in Korea.
Ensign Jessie Brown, who Hudner attempted to rescue, was the
first black Naval Aviator,
and the first Black American Naval officer to lose his life