Profiles in Courage

MajGen Joshua Chamberlain, U.S. Army (1861 – 1866) – His Lost Medal of Honor

MajGen Joshua Chamberlain, U.S. Army (1861 – 1866) – His Lost Medal of Honor

The long-lost Medal of Honor belonging to the "Lion of Little Round Top" has been found. It awarded to then-Colonel (and later Maj. Gen.) Joshua Chamberlain, for his "distinguished gallantry" in leading the 20th Maine volunteers on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, came by mail to the Pejepscot Historical Society in Maine in July from a donor who wished to remain anonymous. The Location of Joshua Chamberlain's Original Medal of Honor Historians from the Smithsonian Institution, the...

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Capt Francis Gary Powers, U.S. Air Force (1950 – 1963)

Capt Francis Gary Powers, U.S. Air Force (1950 – 1963)

Soviet Air Force pilot Capt. Igor Mentyukov was sitting at a bus station in Perm when he was recalled to base and ordered to get into his Sukhoi Su-9 wearing whatever he had on. He was not wearing a flight suit or any other gear, and his fighter was currently unarmed. His orders from Moscow were to take off immediately and pursue an enemy aircraft flown by American CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers at high altitude - and ram it.  He headed toward his plane and took off, headed for certain...

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SCPO Mike Day, U.S. Navy Seal

SCPO Mike Day, U.S. Navy Seal

Senior Chief Petty Officer Douglas "Mike" Day was the first to breach a small room while on a house raid in Iraq's Anbar Province in April 2007. The moment he walked in, he felt like a sledgehammer hit him. It was the first of many bullets he would take in the next few minutes. The entire gunfight was about to take place inside of a 12-foot room. Day and his fellow U.S. Navy SEALs were tasked with taking down a terror cell run by al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the group that years later would morph...

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Cpt Daniel Inouye, U.S. Army (1943-1947) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Cpt Daniel Inouye, U.S. Army (1943-1947) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Senator Daniel Inouye served in the United States Senate from 1963 until his death in 2012. At the time of his death, he was America's second-longest sitting Senator, which is not at all surprising considering he could easily be considered one of World War II's hardest men to kill. Daniel Inouye's Early Life This Japanese-American, who faced discrimination and segregation, had every reason to sit this war out if he so chose with a bitter heart. But considering he was raised by a father who...

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Lieutenant Mark Baden – Heroic Pilot Just Managed to Land and Save His Buddy’s Life

Lieutenant Mark Baden – Heroic Pilot Just Managed to Land and Save His Buddy’s Life

Being launched off the flight deck of an aircraft carrier is a normal routine, but adrenaline junkie pilots love the radical feel of about 4 Gs. On July 9, 1991, an A-6 Intruder modified to be a refueling aircraft was shot off the Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf. Lieutenant Mark Baden was the pilot and had his friend and navigator (BN), Lieutenant Keith Gallagher beside him. It was Gallagher's birthday, and he advised Mark Baden when they returned it would be his 100th trap recovery on an...

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SM1c Douglas Munro, U.S. Coast Guard (1939 – 1942)

SM1c Douglas Munro, U.S. Coast Guard (1939 – 1942)

During the World War II fight for Guadalcanal, three companies of United States Marines were cut off from the main force fighting along the Matanikau River. Surrounded and outnumbered, Marine Corps leadership believed the men would be annihilated - all but one, that is.  Lt. Col. Lewis "Chesty" Puller wasn't about to let three whole companies die if he could do anything about it. If anyone could, it was Chesty. He flagged down the destroyer USS Monssen, organized a relief force of Higgins...

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Sgt. William Harvey Carney, U.S. Army (1863-1864)

Sgt. William Harvey Carney, U.S. Army (1863-1864)

Today, we may remember the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, also Sgt. William Harvey Carney, at the Civil War Battle of Fort Wagner from the 1989 film "Glory." The critically-acclaimed film was released more than 30 years ago, but it stands the test of time for many reasons.  The most important reason is that it's reasonably true to the history of the unit, with a few of Hollywood's usual dramatic licenses. The 54th Massachusetts was the first all-Black regiment raised in the Union to fight...

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“Let’s Roll” Todd Beamer – Hero of UA Flight 93

“Let’s Roll” Todd Beamer – Hero of UA Flight 93

The years since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have seen a lot of changes in the cultural fabric of the United States and in the armed forces. With the 20-year anniversary of that tragic day, it’s important for us to look back and remember some of the heroes that emerged from the ashes of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and United Flight 93. One of those heroes was a civilian named Todd Beamer. Beamer died when United 93 crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. But his...

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WW2 – The Heroes Of Eager Beavers

WW2 – The Heroes Of Eager Beavers

In 1943, several U.S. airmen went on a suicide mission. Two men, who were part of Eager Beavers, on the mission were awarded a Medal of Honor - the only time in WWII that two men received the same award for the same engagement. Interestingly, their careers didn't start out well. Biography of Lt Col Jay Zeamer Jr. Jay Zeamer, Jr. got his wings in 1941 at Langley Field. All his classmates became pilots and got their own planes and crews, but not Zeamer. Although he could fly and had a passion...

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PFC Shizuya Hayashi, U.S. Army (1942 – 1945)

PFC Shizuya Hayashi, U.S. Army (1942 – 1945)

During the Italian Campaign of World War II, German troops were faced with a sight they had never expected: Japanese-American soldiers. These troops were members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, which was comprised entirely of Nisei (children of Japanese Immigrants) troops. What makes this story all the more amazing is knowing how these troops, and their families, had been treated by a scared and hateful populace at home. Their families, friends, and neighbors were being imprisoned by the...

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Brig Gen James Robinson Risner, U.S. Air Force (1943 – 1976)

Brig Gen James Robinson Risner, U.S. Air Force (1943 – 1976)

James Robinson Risner was a man of humble origins, son of an Arkansas sharecropper, educated at secondary school level, not particularly ambitious, a common man save for two things: He could fly the hell out of an airplane; and, under terribly difficult circumstances as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam, he rose to a level of heroic leadership matched by few men in American military history. Born in Mammoth Springs, Arkansas on Jan. 16, 1925 and raised in a religious family, Robinson Risner...

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Staff Sgt. Edward Carter Jr., U.S. Army (1932-1949)

Staff Sgt. Edward Carter Jr., U.S. Army (1932-1949)

Biography of Edward Carter Jr. A career Army noncommissioned officer, Edward Carter Jr. was born May 26, 1916, in Los Angeles, California. He was the son of missionary parents who went to the Far East and finally settled in Shanghai, China. Edward ran away from this home when he was a young teen to begin a military exodus. However, it was not to be an ordinary journey as his material and spiritual paths intertwined. His first tour was short-lived, yet not too short to prevent the...

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