Profiles in Courage

MA2 Doris Miller, U.S. Navy (1939–1943) – Navy Named Aircraft Carrier for Pearl Harbor Hero

MA2 Doris Miller, U.S. Navy (1939–1943) – Navy Named Aircraft Carrier for Pearl Harbor Hero

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 20th, 2020, at Pearl Harbor, the Navy announced that a $12.5 billion aircraft carrier will be named after Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller, the first African American to receive the Navy Cross for valor for his actions on December 7, 1941, when he manned a machine gun on the USS West Virginia to fire back at attacking Japanese planes. "I think that Doris Miller is an American hero simply because of what he represents as a young man going beyond the...

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PO3 Robert E. Bush, U.S. Navy (1944–1945) – Medal of Honor Recipient

PO3 Robert E. Bush, U.S. Navy (1944–1945) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Robert Eugene Bush wasn't old enough to join the Navy when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. He was still in high school. His neighbor in his hometown of Raymond, Washington, was a Fireman aboard the USS Arizona. "He's still on board the Arizona," Bush said in a Veterans History Project Interview. Bush could barely stand the wait to join the war. He wouldn't be old enough until his 17th birthday in the Fall of 1943. He and a friend from school dropped out and enlisted...

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SFC Fred Willam Zabitosky, U.S. Army (1959-1989) – Medal of Honor Recipient

SFC Fred Willam Zabitosky, U.S. Army (1959-1989) – Medal of Honor Recipient

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SFC Zabitosky, US Army, distinguished himself while serving as an assistant team leader of a nine-man Special Forces long-range reconnaissance patrol. SFC Zabitosky's patrol was operating deep within the enemy-controlled territory in Laos when they were attacked by a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army unit.  SFC Zabitosky rallied his team members, deployed them into...

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CSM Bennie Adkins, U.S. Army (1956-1978) – Medal of Honor Recipient

CSM Bennie Adkins, U.S. Army (1956-1978) – Medal of Honor Recipient

By George Winston Presented with the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in 2014, Bennie Adkins distinguished himself as a war hero during three tours of duty between 1963 and 1971, later creating a charitable foundation to help returning veterans to attend further education and settle into civilian life. President Obama said at the time, 'to be honest, in a battle and daring escape that lasted four days, Bennie performed so many acts of bravery we actually don't have time to talk about...

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Sgt Alvin York, U.S. Army (1941–1947) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Sgt Alvin York, U.S. Army (1941–1947) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Sergeant Alvin York was seemingly born to a hardscrabble existence and anonymity in death, but World War One changed that forever. The story of York is one that twists and turns like the Mississippi river as he went through redemption and battled personal demons. At the end of it, all was the story that could have secured fame, finance, and his future - but York turned his back on it all to go back to the simple life and try and make a positive impact on the community in which he lived. York's...

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MajGen Smedley Butler, U.S. Marine Corps (1898–1931) – Medal of Honor Recipient

MajGen Smedley Butler, U.S. Marine Corps (1898–1931) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Smedley Butler may be the best-known double Medal of Honor recipient and one of the most popular military Generals in U.S. history. Butler served 33 years in the Marine Corps and had a role in the Spanish-American War in Cuba, the Philippine-American War in Manila, the Boxer Rebellion in China, the Banana Wars in the Caribbean, the Mexican Revolution, and World War I. Butler's first Medal of Honor was earned during the Mexican Revolution when the then-major fought block to block in the streets...

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Col Merryl Tengesdal, U.S. Air Force (1994-2017) – U2 Pilot

Col Merryl Tengesdal, U.S. Air Force (1994-2017) – U2 Pilot

Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Merryl Tengesdal is the first African American female U-2 pilot in history and is the first African American woman to fly the Air Force's U-2 Dragon Lady Spy Plane. She is the only black woman alongside five white women and two black men to fly spy planes. Tengesdal was born Merryl David in 1971 in the Bronx, New York. She excelled in math and science classes in grade school and high school and graduated from the University of New Haven in Connecticut in 1994...

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PFC Harold Agerholm, U.S. Marine Corps (1942-1944) – Medal of Honor Recipient

PFC Harold Agerholm, U.S. Marine Corps (1942-1944) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Harold C. Agerholm had a quiet start to his life. After qualifying from school in Racine, Wisconsin, he worked as a multigraph operator for the Ranch Manufacturing Company. Then in July 1942, he joined the Marine Corps Reserve. Upon completing his recruit training in San Diego, California, Agerholm was sent to the Headquarters and Service Battery, 4th Battalion, 10th Marines, and 2nd Marine Division. He received further training for eleven months with his battalion in Wellington, New Zealand....

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Ernie Pyle – Famous WWII War Correspondent

Ernie Pyle – Famous WWII War Correspondent

American journalist Ernest Taylor "Ernie" Pyle was one of the most famous war correspondents of WWII. Using his folksy writing style, Pyle connected with his readers and brought the realities of the battlefront to living rooms across America. At his peak, his columns appeared in 400 daily and 300 weekly newspapers. His devoted readers included political and military leaders and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. His coverage of campaigns in North Africa, Italy, and France earned him a Pulitzer...

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