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Friday, November 3, 2017

Medal of Honor Recipients That Connect to the Littrell/Luttrell Family:

LITTRELL, GARY LEEhttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/88/Littrell_GaryL_MOH.jpg

In 1998 while doing research in Henderson County, Kentucky I discovered a Veteran Marker in the town squire for Gary Lee Littrell, Sergeant First Class, US Army, denoting that he was a Vietnam Veteran who was awarded the Medal of Honor. A year later, in an attempt to meet the Sergeant, I tried and failed to attend a dedication of a Memorial to Medal of Honor recipients in Indianapolis.
I had hoped to identify the branch of the Littrell families that he descended from. We did have ancestors who were associated with the county’s namesake Col. Richard Henderson, as well as ancestors who migrated to and from that part of Kentucky (circa 1820-40), unfortunately my information on those ancestors does not follow them past the Civil War. That leaves us with a large gap that would require some assistance from his family to transcend.*  The Col. Henderson that Henderson County, KY. is named for was head of the Transylvania Company that purchased Kentucky and part of Tennessee from Native-Americans before the Revolution. The Transylvania Company included Col. John Luttrell, a valiant and gallant man who accompanied Henderson into Kentucky. to meet with Daniel Boone, who they had employed to trail blaze into Kentucky and establish Fort Boonesborough. Col. Luttrell died in the Revolution with no descendants, nonetheless the Descendants of Eli Literal  descend from his kinfolk.


Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army, Advisory Team 21, 11 Corps Advisory Group.
Place and date: Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam, 4-8 April 1970.
Entered service at: Los Angeles, Calif.
Born: 26 October 1944, Henderson, Ky.
Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Citation: For con­spicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SFC. Littrell, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Advisory Team 21, distinguished himself while serving as a Light Weapons Infantry Advisor with the 23d Battalion, 2d Ranger Group, Republic of Vietnam Army, near Dak Seang. After establishing a defensive perimeter on a hill on April 4, the battalion was subjected to an intense enemy mortar attack which killed the Vietnamese commander, one advisor, and seriously wounded all the advisors except SFC. Littrell. During the ensuing 4 days, SFC. Littrell exhibited near superhuman endurance as he single-handedly bolstered the besieged battalion. Repeatedly abandoning positions of relative safety, he directed artillery and air support by day and marked the unit's loca­tion by night, despite the heavy, concentrated enemy fire. His daunt­less will instilled in the men of the 23d Battalion a deep desire to re­sist. Assault after assault was repulsed as the battalion responded to the extraordinary leadership and personal example exhibited by SFC. Littrell as he continuously moved to those points most seriously threatened by the enemy, redistributed ammunition, strengthened fal­tering defenses, cared for the wounded and shouted encouragement to the Vietnamese in their own language. When the beleaguered battalion was finally ordered to withdraw, numerous ambushes were encoun­tered. SFC. Littrell repeatedly prevented widespread disorder by direct­ing air strikes to within 50 meters of their position. Through his in­domitable courage and complete disregard for his safety, he averted excessive loss of life and injury to the members of the battalion. The sustained extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by SFC. Lit­trell over an extended period of time were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him and the U.S. Army.

John A. PittmanJohnPittman

John Pittman and JD Littrell were best friends and served together throughout the Korean Conflict and remained good friends the rest of their lives.
On 11-26 1950 in fighting near Kujangdong (Kunu Ri) JD Littrell was wounded by grenade fragments, which would win him the second of his three Purple Hearts.

Sgt. John Pittman was featured on the cover of Life Magazine, July 2nd, 1951, when he and two others were personally awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry Truman. Pittman and the other two(Sgt. Kouma and Lt. Dodd) were the first Korean soldiers to receive their medals personally as the previous 9 recipients were either dead or MIA.~

The account of that event is best illustrated in the words of the citation (Medal of Honor) that acknowledged the heroism of JD’s comrade and friend who saved the lives of JD and others that night:

John A. Pittman

Rank and Organization: Sergeant,Charlie Company, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division
Place / Date: Near Kujangdong, Korea, 26 November 1950
Entered Service At: Carrolton, Miss.
Born: 15 October 1928, Carrolton, Miss.
Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Citation: Sgt. Pittman, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. He volunteered to lead his squad in a counterattack to regain commanding terrain lost in an earlier engagement. Moving aggressively forward in the face of intense artillery, mortar, and small-arms fire he was wounded by mortar JDL-7 (4)wnamesfragments. Disregarding his wounds he continued to lead and direct his men in a bold advance against the hostile standpoint. During this daring action, an enemy grenade was thrown in the midst of his squad endangering the lives of his comrades. Without hesitation, Sgt. Pittman threw himself on the grenade and absorbed its burst with his body. When a medical aid man reached him, his first request was to be informed as to how many of his men were hurt. This intrepid and selfless act saved several of his men from death or serious injury and was an inspiration to the entire command. Sgt. Pittman's extraordinary heroism reflects the highest credit upon himself and is in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the military service.

JPittman redacted
The above travel orders, reporting John Pittman’s medical condition and destination (Fort Campbell, Kentucky), are dated April 12, 1951. The fact that this copy was in the possession of JD may indicate that he accompanied Pittman from Korea to Ft. Campbell. The implication being that Pittman was not totally recovered from his wounds, “He is considered unfit for return to duty”, and JD assisted him in the journey.

This assumption is bolstered by the fact that after April 9th we have no record of JD still being in Korea. On that April 9th JD received his third wound, and we know from medical records that he was still suffering problems from un-removed shrapnel he received from a previous wound.

* footnote: We have the same problem with performer entertainer Brian Littrell and Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell; a gap that could only be connected with help from their family.

marcus luttrellMarcus Luttrell: (born November 7, 1975) is a former United States Navy SEAL, who received the Navy Cross and Purple Heart for his actions in June 2005 facing Taliban fighters during Operation Red Wings. Luttrell was a Hospital Corpsman First Class by the end of his eight-year career in the United States Navy.
The Operation Red Wings ambush was intense, coming from three sides, and included fire from PK machine guns, AK-47s, RPG-7s, and 82mm mortars. The ambush team forced the SEAL team into the northeast gulch of Sawtalo Sar, on the Shuryek Valley side of Sawtalo Sar. The SEALs made a number of attempts to contact their combat operations center with a PRC-148 MBITR (Multi Band Inter/Intra Team Radio) and then with an Iridium Satellite Phone. The team could not establish consistent communication, however, other than for a period long enough to indicate that they were under attack. Three of the four team members were killed, and Luttrell, being the only survivor, was left unconscious with a number of fractures, a broken back, numerous shrapnel wounds, Luttrell was not shot nor were his injuries life-threatening. He would soon regain consciousness and evade the pursuing enemy, with the help of local Pashtun villagers, who would eventually send an emissary to the nearest U.S. base to secure his safe rescue, and ultimately save his life. He then returned to active duty, and went on a deployment to Iraq in 2006.


Reposted from: Eun Kyung Kim – TODAY (2013) The upcoming movie “Lone Survivor” recounts the harrowing experience of Marcus Luttrell as he and his fellow Navy SEALS fought off the Taliban in a remote Afghan village.


reposted from 2016:   202

1 comment:

  1. Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have.
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