Medal of Honor Answers

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About the Medal of Honor

  1. Only 1 – President Clinton awarded Theodore Roosevelt the medal of Honor on January 16, 2001. However, General George Washington was awarded a “Special Medal” for his success at Boston in 1776. This was the first of many special “Congressional Medals” which have been authorized by Congress. Washington is not the official Medal of Honor rolls. BACK
  2. Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., Brigadier General, U.S. Army. President Roosevelt received the award for his actions at San Juan Hill; Brigadier General Roosevelt received the award posthumously for his actions during the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944. He is interred at the National Cemetery, Normandy, France. BACK
  3. He was not officially in the military, but was attached to a Calvary Company as a Civilian Scout during the Civil War and Indian Campaigns. His award was rescinded in 1917 (along with 4 other scouts) during the first major review of awards of the Medal of Honor. The award for the four scouts were restored in 1989 based on recommendations by the Army Board of Corrections. BACK
  4. The earliest actions for which the Medal was awarded took place before the Civil War had even begun, February 13 – 14, 1861 in what is now Arizona. Bernard J.D. Irwin was an Assistant Surgeon in the Army when he voluntarily led a command of troops to relieve a surrounded detachment of the 7th Infantry. Irwin’s Medal was not awarded until January 24, 1894, over 30 years after he had performed his deed. But on March 25, 18634 Private Jacob Parrott was the first of the a group of 6 men awarded the Medal for their actions in “The Great Locomotive Chase” in April 1862. They were the first ever to wear the Medal of Honor. BACK
  5. There have been 19 men who have received the Medal of Honor twice. Of these, 5 Marines during W.W.I received both the Army and the Navy Medal of Honor for the same military action. BACK
  6. Ireland – There have been 728 Medals of Honor awarded to soldiers not born in the United States, of these 256 were born in Ireland. The last Irish born Medal of Honor recipient received the medal for action in Vietnam. BACK
  7. Yes, Contract Acting Assist Surgeon (civilian), Dr. Mary E. Walker was awarded the Medal of Honor for her action at Bull Run. She was actually cited for 4 separate heroic actions during the Civil War. In addition, she was a Prisoner of War from 4/10/1864 – 8/12/1864 in Richmond, VA. On June 3, 1916 her name was removed from the Medal of Honor rolls based on a finding by the Board of Medal Awards as unwarranted. On June 10, 1977 the Army Secretary approved the recommendation by the Army Board of Correction of Military Records to restore the Medal of Honor. BACK
  8. Yes, Canadian born Douglas Munro became the 1st and only member of the U.S. Coast Guard to receive the Medal of Honor. He was awarded the medal for his actions at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal on September 27, 1942, he was killed in action. BACK
  9. The original legislation in 1862 only included enlisted men of the U.S. Army and Navy, not officers. On March 3, 1915 Statute 928,931 was passed authorizing the President to present a suitable Medal of Honor to officers. BACK
  10. There were 15 of which 10 were awarded posthumously. Of the 5 survivors, one was killed in action 11 months after the events at Pearl Harbor. Today, there is only one living Medal of Honor recipient of Pearl Harbor. BACK
  11. President Harry S. Truman BACK
  12. Aviation Chief Ordinanceman John J. Finn received the Medal of Honor for his action during the attack on the air field at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii on December 7, 1941, five minutes before to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Admiral Chester Nimitz placed the Medal of Honor around his neck while his wife, Alice, was present. She was the first female allowed on an American ship of war during a time of war. BACK
  13. Since the formation of a separate Air Force in 1947 there have been sixteen recipients. Prior to 1963 members of the Army Air Corps and the Air Force were awarded the Army Medal. In 1963 the Air Force acquired it’s own Medal of Honor design. BACK
  14. William Carney was the first African-American recipient. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on July 18, 1863 at Fort Wagner, South Carolina. BACK