List of living Medal of Honor recipients facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts


Barack Obama participates in National Medal of Honor Day 3-25-09
President Barack Obama meets with recipients at the National Medal of Honor Day ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns on March 25, 2009

There are currently 79 living recipients of the Medal of Honor. It is the United States military's highest decoration. The Medal of Honor is given to any member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States."

Of the 79 living recipients 11 earned their Medals of Honor in World War II. 11 received them for actions in the Korean War. 54 were earned in the Vietnam War. Three were in the War in Afghanistan. Five earned their medal while serving in the U.S. Air Force. 51 were in the U.S. Army. 16 were in the U.S. Marine Corps. 7 were in the U.S. Navy. The oldest recipient is Robert D. Maxwell. He is 99. The youngest is Dakota Meyer. He is 31. Only one medal holder is still on active duty in the U.S. military. He is War in Afghanistan soldier Leroy Petry. Among the recipients is former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey. Three are retired generals: Patrick Henry Brady and Robert F. Foley of the Army and James E. Livingston of the Marine Corps.

Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor was created during the American Civil War and is the highest military decoration presented by the United States government to a member of its armed forces. The recipient must have distinguished themselves at the risk of their own life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an enemy of the United States. Due to the nature of this medal, it is commonly presented posthumously.

World War II

See also: List of Medal of Honor recipients for the Battle of Iwo Jima

During World War II, 464 United States military personnel received the Medal of Honor, 266 (57.3%) of them posthumously. A total of 42 Medals of Honor were presented for action in just two battles – Fifteen for actions during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and 27 for actions during the Battle of Iwo Jima. A total of 21 (4.5% of all World War II Medals of Honor) were received by members of the all-Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, for actions in numerous battles across six different campaigns. Additionally, the only Medal of Honor ever presented to a member of the United States Coast Guard was received for actions during this war.

Image Name Branch Birth date and age Reference
Coolidge313645.tif Coolidge, Charles H.Charles H. Coolidge Army August 4, 1921 (1921-08-04) (age 98)
Currey in 1945 Currey, Francis S.Francis S. Currey Army June 29, 1925 (1925-06-29) (age 94)
Bob Maxwell 2006 BBC MOH Scholarship Ceremony.jpg Maxwell, Robert D.Robert D. Maxwell Army October 26, 1920 (1920-10-26) (age 99)
Williams in 2010 Williams, Hershel W.Hershel W. Williams Marine Corps October 2, 1923 (1923-10-02) (age 96)

Korea

During the Korean War, 136 Medals of Honor were presented for bravery in action, 98 (72.1%) of them posthumously. As of 2018, five recipients were still living.

Image Name Branch Birth date and age Reference
Duane Dewey 2004.jpg Dewey, Duane E.Duane E. Dewey Marine Corps November 16, 1931 (1931-11-16) (age 88)
Miyamura in 2008 Miyamura, Hiroshi H.Hiroshi H. Miyamura Army October 6, 1925 (1925-10-06) (age 94)
Rosser in 2012 Rosser, Ronald E.Ronald E. Rosser Army October 24, 1929 (1929-10-24) (age 90)
Head of a smiling white man wearing a suit, red tie, and a medal hanging from a blue ribbon around his neck Simanek, Robert E.Robert E. Simanek Marine Corps April 26, 1930 (1930-04-26) (age 89)
Photograph of an older white man wearing glasses and a medal hanging from a blue ribbon around his neck West, Ernest E.Ernest E. West Army September 2, 1931 (1931-09-02) (age 88)

Vietnam

During the Vietnam War, 249 Medals of Honor were received, 156 (62.9%) of them posthumously. Of the 93 recipients who lived to receive their medals for actions in the Vietnam War, 51 are alive as of 2018.

The first person to earn the Medal of Honor in this war was Roger Donlon who, on 6 July 1964, rescued and administered first aid to several wounded soldiers and led a group against an enemy force.

Image Name Branch Birth date and age Reference
Adkins, BennieBennie Adkins Army February 1, 1934 (1934-02-01) (age 85)
JBaca.jpg Baca, JohnJohn Baca Army January 10, 1949 (1949-01-10) (age 70)
Donald E Ballard.jpg Ballard, Donald E.Donald E. Ballard Navy December 5, 1945 (1945-12-05) (age 74)
H.C. "Barney" Barnum Jr. at the Medal of Honor Flag ceremony for Michael Murphy .jpg Barnum, Jr., Harvey C.Harvey C. Barnum, Jr. Marine Corps July 21, 1940 (1940-07-21) (age 79)
Gary B Beikirch.jpg Beikirch, Gary B.Gary B. Beikirch Army August 29, 1947 (1947-08-29) (age 72)
Portrait of a dark-haired white man wearing a military uniform with many ribbons, pins, and badges. Brady, Patrick HenryPatrick Henry Brady Army October 1, 1936 (1936-10-01) (age 83)
Bucha in 2011 Bucha, PaulPaul Bucha Army August 1, 1943 (1943-08-01) (age 76)
Crandall in 2012 Crandall, Bruce P.Bruce P. Crandall Army February 17, 1933 (1933-02-17) (age 86)
Sammy Davis speaking 2009 crop.jpg Davis, Sammy L.Sammy L. Davis Army November 1, 1946 (1946-11-01) (age 73)
Profile of a white man with a full, gray beard wearing a star-shaped medal from a blue ribbon around his neck. Dix, Drew DennisDrew Dennis Dix Army December 14, 1944 (1944-12-14) (age 74)
Maj Roger Donlon.jpg Donlon, RogerRoger Donlon Army January 30, 1934 (1934-01-30) (age 85)
Frederick E Ferguson MOH.jpg Ferguson, Frederick EdgarFrederick Edgar Ferguson Army August 18, 1939 (1939-08-18) (age 80)
MichaelJFitzmauricePortrait.jpg Fitzmaurice, Michael JohnMichael John Fitzmaurice Army March 9, 1950 (1950-03-09) (age 69)
James P Fleming.jpg Fleming, James P.James P. Fleming Air Force March 12, 1943 (1943-03-12) (age 76)
Portrait of a middle-aged white man in a formal military uniform in front of a U.S. flag Foley, Robert F.Robert F. Foley Army May 30, 1941 (1941-05-30) (age 78)
Harold A. Fritz portrait.jpg Fritz, Harold A.Harold A. Fritz Army February 21, 1944 (1944-02-21) (age 75)
Charles Chris Hagemeister.jpg Hagemeister, Charles C.Charles C. Hagemeister Army August 21, 1946 (1946-08-21) (age 73)
Frank a Herda.jpg Herda, Frank A.Frank A. Herda Army September 13, 1947 (1947-09-13) (age 72)
Robert Ingram crouching.jpg Ingram, Robert R.Robert R. Ingram Navy January 20, 1945 (1945-01-20) (age 74)
Joe Jackson in 2010 Jackson, Joe M.Joe M. Jackson Air Force March 14, 1923 (1923-03-14) (age 96)
Jack H Jacobs aboard Roosevelt.jpg Jacobs, Jack H.Jack H. Jacobs Army August 2, 1945 (1945-08-02) (age 74)
Don J Jenkins 2010.jpg Jenkins, Don J.Don J. Jenkins Army April 18, 1948 (1948-04-18) (age 71)
Head of a white man in a suit with a medal hanging from a blue ribbon around his neck Kelley, Thomas G.Thomas G. Kelley Navy May 13, 1939 (1939-05-13) (age 80)
Allan J Kellogg Medal of Honor recipient.jpg Kellogg, Allan J.Allan J. Kellogg Marine Corps October 1, 1943 (1943-10-01) (age 76)
Head and torso of a white man in a dark suit speaking and gesturing Kerrey, BobBob Kerrey Navy August 27, 1943 (1943-08-27) (age 76)
Head and torso of elderly white man in military dress uniform with the President standing behind him, placing a medal with a blue ribbon around his neck Kettles, CharlesCharles Kettles Army January 9, 1930 (1930-01-09) (age 89)
Lee HV.jpg Lee, Howard V.Howard V. Lee Marine Corps August 1, 1933 (1933-08-01) (age 86)
Peter C Lemon.jpg Lemon, Peter C.Peter C. Lemon Army June 5, 1950 (1950-06-05) (age 69)
3MoH's in Iraq.jpg Littrell, Gary L.Gary L. Littrell Army October 26, 1944 (1944-10-26) (age 75)
Livingston JE.jpg Livingston, James E.James E. Livingston Marine Corps January 12, 1940 (1940-01-12) (age 79)
Allen Lynch 1984.jpg Lynch, Allen JamesAllen James Lynch Army October 28, 1945 (1945-10-28) (age 74)
Walter Marm 2006.jpg Marm, Jr., Walter JosephWalter Joseph Marm, Jr. Army November 20, 1941 (1941-11-20) (age 78)
James C. McCloughan.jpg McCloughan, James C.James C. McCloughan Army April 30, 1946 (1946-04-30) (age 73)
Modrzejewski in 2011 Modrzejewski, Robert J.Robert J. Modrzejewski Marine Corps July 3, 1934 (1934-07-03) (age 85)
MelvinMorris300.jpg Morris, MelvinMelvin Morris Army January 7, 1942 (1942-01-07) (age 77)
Thomas Norris 2008.jpg Norris, Thomas R.Thomas R. Norris Navy January 14, 1944 (1944-01-14) (age 75)
Head and shoulders of a white man with a pointed mustache, wearing a star-shaped medal on a blue ribbon around his neck. O'Malley, Robert EmmettRobert Emmett O'Malley Marine Corps June 3, 1943 (1943-06-03) (age 76)
Patterson in 2012 Patterson, Robert MartinRobert Martin Patterson Army April 16, 1948 (1948-04-16) (age 71)
Profile of a dark-haired man with a star-shaped medal hanging from his neck Rascon, Alfred V.Alfred V. Rascon Army September 10, 1945 (1945-09-10) (age 74)
Ronald Eric Ray.jpg Ray, Ronald E.Ronald E. Ray Army December 7, 1941 (1941-12-07) (age 78)
Moh roberts.JPG Roberts, Gordon RayGordon Ray Roberts Army June 14, 1950 (1950-06-14) (age 69)
JoseRodela300.jpg Rodela, JoseJose Rodela Army June 15, 1937 (1937-06-15) (age 82)
A color image showing 2nd Lieutenant Gary M. Rose from the chest up in his military uniform with ribbons. Rose, Gary M.Gary M. Rose Army October 17, 1947 (1947-10-17) (age 72)
A gray-haired black man standing at a microphone, wearing a medal on a blue ribbon around his neck. Sasser, ClarenceClarence Sasser Army September 12, 1947 (1947-09-12) (age 72)
MOH-Sprayberry.jpg Sprayberry, James M.James M. Sprayberry Army April 24, 1947 (1947-04-24) (age 72)
Kenneth Stumpf 2013.jpg Stumpf, Kenneth E.Kenneth E. Stumpf Army September 28, 1944 (1944-09-28) (age 75)
James Allen Taylor.jpg Taylor, James AllenJames Allen Taylor Army December 31, 1937 (1937-12-31) (age 81)
Brian Thacker 2008.jpg Thacker, BrianBrian Thacker Army April 25, 1945 (1945-04-25) (age 74)
MichaelEThornton.jpg Thornton, Michael E.Michael E. Thornton Navy March 23, 1949 (1949-03-23) (age 70)
Vargas USMC MOH.jpg Vargas, Jay R.Jay R. Vargas Marine Corps July 29, 1938 (1938-07-29) (age 81)
Brady, Packett, and Wetzel.jpg Wetzel, GaryGary Wetzel Army September 29, 1947 (1947-09-29) (age 72)

War in Afghanistan

The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001 and was the beginning of the War on Terrorism. The war was launched by the United States, the United Kingdom, and NATO allies in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The stated purpose of the invasion was to capture Osama bin Laden, destroy al-Qaeda, and remove the Taliban regime which had provided support and safe harbor to al-Qaeda. Since 2001, 15 American service-members have received the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan, three of them posthumously.

Image Name Branch Birth date and age Reference
Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward C. Byers, Jr., poses for his official portrait. (25302793012).jpg Edward Byers Navy August 4, 1979 (1979-08-04) (age 40)
140618-M-LI307-0155.jpg Carpenter, KyleKyle Carpenter Marine Corps October 17, 1989 (1989-10-17) (age 30)
Ty Carter portrait.jpg Carter, TyTy Carter Army January 25, 1980 (1980-01-25) (age 39)
Head and torso portrait of a young white man in a formal military uniform with a U.S. flag in the background Giunta, SalvatoreSalvatore Giunta Army January 21, 1985 (1985-01-21) (age 34)
Captain Florent Groberg Groberg, FlorentFlorent Groberg Army May 8, 1983 (1983-05-08) (age 36)
Dakota L. Meyer.JPG Meyer, DakotaDakota Meyer Marine Corps June 26, 1988 (1988-06-26) (age 31)
Leroy Petry Petry, LeroyLeroy Petry Army July 29, 1979 (1979-07-29) (age 40)
Ryan Pitts portrait.jpg Pitts, Ryan M.Ryan M. Pitts Army October 1, 1985 (1985-10-01) (age 34)
Clinton Romesha portrait.jpg Romesha, ClintonClinton Romesha Army August 17, 1981 (1981-08-17) (age 38)
Britt Slabinski portrait.jpg Slabinski, Britt K.Britt K. Slabinski Navy December 1, 1969 (1969-12-01) (age 50)
WilliamSwensonMOHspeech20131015.jpg Swenson, William D.William D. Swenson Army November 2, 1978 (1978-11-02) (age 41)
Sergeant Kyle J. White White, KyleKyle White Army March 27, 1987 (1987-03-27) (age 32)

Recently deceased

Recipients who died within the last twelve months are listed below.

Image Name Branch Conflict Birth date Death date Place of death Ref.
Thomas J. Hudner 2008.jpg Hudner Jr., Thomas J.Thomas J. Hudner Jr. Navy Korean War 01924-08-31 August 31 1924 02017-11-13 November 13 2017 Concord, Massachusetts
Col Wesley L Fox.jpg Fox, Wesley L.Wesley L. Fox Marine Corps Vietnam War 01931-09-30 September 30 1931 02017-11-24 November 24 2017 Blacksburg, Virginia

List of living Medal of Honor recipients Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.