North Korean troops crossed the 38th Parallel in June 1950. President Harry S Truman ordered the 24th Infantry Division to head to Korea.
Among the soldiers of the 24th was Mitchell Red Cloud, a Native American Ho-Chunk (Winnebago Tribe). A Marine veteran of WW II, he was one of Carlson’s Raiders at Guadalcanal, and took a bullet on Okinawa. Discharged after the war, he was back in uniform two years later to serve his country. His actions in Korea would earn him the Medal of Honor.
One night Mitchell was at a forward observation post when he spotted the enemy charging from a brush-covered area, less than 100 feet away. He opened fire with his Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), and emptied magazine after magazine at point-blank range.
His citation read,
“His accurate and intense fire checked this assault and gained time for the company to consolidate its defense,”.
Mitchell was hit twice. A medic applied dressings, and Mitchell resumed firing. He was hit again, but refused aid.
“Corporal Red Cloud pulled himself to his feet, and wrapping his arm around a tree, continued his deadly fire again, until he was fatally wounded.”
Because of Mitchell’s cover fire, the rest of his Company were able to withdraw to fortified positions. He gave his own life to save many.
And that is the definition of hero.
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