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Pfc. Richard Wilson

Date of Award: August 2, 1952
Conflict: Korean War
Branch: U.S. Army

Pfc. Richard Wilson portraitPfc. Richard Wilson of Cape Girardeau, Mo., earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Korean War in 1950. He was the only resident of Cape Girardeau to achieve the highest honor in the armed forces, and today there are numerous locations and facilities dedicated in his name around the city.

As a medic for Company 1, Medical Company, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment, Wilson participated in one of largest airdrops in American military history at the time of his service in Korea. In an ensuing battle with enemy forces in Opari, Korea, Wilson fearlessly went from casualty to casualty, bandaging the wounded and moving them to safety. As the regiment proceeded to change positions, a wounded soldier, originally thought to have been dead, began to move on the battlefield. Without hesitation, Wilson braved the hostile fire of the enemy to tend to the severely injured man, and ultimately lost his life trying to save him.

Citation: “Despite the protests of his comrades, unarmed and facing a merciless enemy, Pfc. Wilson returned to the dangerous position in search of his comrade. Two days later a patrol found him lying beside the man he returned to aid. He had been shot several times while trying to shield and administer aid to the wounded man.”

Last Updated: February 22, 2022

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