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Ola L. Mize facts for kids

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Ola Lee Mize
Ola L Mize.jpg
Medal of Honor recipient Ola Mize
Born (1931-08-28)August 28, 1931
Albertville, Alabama, U.S.
Died March 12, 2014(2014-03-12) (aged 82)
Gadsden, Alabama, U.S.
Place of burial
Crestwood Memorial Cemetery, East Gadsden, Alabama
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army seal United States Army
Years of service 1950–1981
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel
Unit 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division
Battles/wars Korean War
 • Attack on Outpost Harry
Vietnam War
Awards Medal of Honor
Legion of Merit (2)
Silver Star
Bronze Star (5)
Purple Heart

Ola Lee Mize (August 28, 1931 – March 12, 2014) was a United States Army officer and a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Korean War.


Mize was born in Albertville, Alabama, the son of a sharecropper. He left school after 9th grade to help support his family. After several years of working for low pay, he attempted to enlist in the Army, but was rejected for being too light, at 120 pounds (54 kg). He tried repeatedly to enlist and was eventually accepted, joining the Army in 1950 from Gadsden, Alabama.

Assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, Mize planned to finish his term of service and return to school. When the Korean War began, he changed his plans and reenlisted in hopes of seeing combat. He volunteered for a front-line unit and ended up as a sergeant in Company K of the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. On June 10, 1953, his unit was manning Outpost Harry near Surang-ni, Korea, when the post came under heavy enemy attack. Mize organized defensive positions, rescued wounded soldiers, and engaged the enemy until reinforcements arrived about noon the next day. He was subsequently promoted to master sergeant and, on September 24, 1954, awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Outpost Harry. Major General Charles D.W. Canham, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, presided over a pass in review by the 15th Infantry in Mize's honor prior to Mize being returned to the United States where he was presented with the medal by President Eisenhower at the White House. Mize later met President John F. Kennedy.

Mize later joined the Special Forces where he gained a commission and served three tours of duty in the Vietnam War. In 1965, he was assigned to the Special Forces Training Group, where he was the Advanced Training Committee chief for SCUBA, HALO, and the SKY HOOK schools. Colonel Mize is credited for being the officer responsible for starting the present day Combat Divers Qualification Course in Key West, FL. From 1966 to 1967, he was again assigned to Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces Group where he was an Operational A, B, and C Detachment Commander and once more in 1969, where he was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group as the Commander of the 3rd Mobile Strike Force Command (Cambodian Troops). During his tour while commander of B-36 3rd Mobile Strike Force he was awarded the Silver Star for Valor in 1969.

Mize retired from the Army in 1981 as a colonel.

Mize died of cancer on March 12, 2014 at Gadsden, Alabama, aged 82.


CIB2.png Combat Infantryman Badge with one star
US Army Airborne master parachutist badge.gif Master Parachutist Badge
USAF - Occupational Badge - Scuba.svg
Scuba Badge
Special Forces Tab Special Forces Tab
Ranger Tab.svg Ranger Tab
Medal of Honor
Silver Star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star Medal with four Oak Leaf Cluster and "V" Device
Purple Heart
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Korean Service Medal with two service stars
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars
Armed Forces Reserve Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross
United Nations Korea Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal


A section of Steel Station Road in Gadsden, Alabama is named Col. Ola Lee Mize Medal of Honor Highway in his honor.

On May 14, 2015, the Special Forces Underwater Operations School in Key West, Florida, celebrated its 50th anniversary by naming its headquarters building in his honor.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Ola L. Mize para niños

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