About John Upshur Dennis Page, LTC
John Page never realized his dream of a West Point education due to poor eyesight, so he attended Princeton University, graduating in 1926 with a degree in engineering and an ROTC commission. During WWII he did realize his dream of commanding an Artillery Battalion in combat in Germany. Ordered to the prestigious Command and General Staff college at Fort Leavenworth when the Korean War began, he requested a combat assignment in lieu of the classroom, succeeding after "pulling many strings." His valor at the Chosin Reservoir was so incredible, the Marines among whom he served submitted him for the Navy Cross, making him one of only three Army recipients of that award in Korea.
Awarded posthumously for actions during the Korean War
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Colonel John Upshur Dennis Page (ASN: 0-29085), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty in a series of exploits while attached to the 52d Transportation Truck Battalion, in action against enemy aggressor forces at the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, from 29 November to 10 December 1950. On 29 November, Lieutenant Colonel Page left X Corps Headquarters at Hamhung with the mission of establishing traffic control on the main supply route to 1st Marine Division positions and those of some Army elements on the Chosin Reservoir plateau. Having completed his mission Lieutenant Colonel Page was free to return to the safety of Hamhung but chose to remain on the plateau to aid an isolated signal station, thus being cut off with elements of the marine division. After rescuing his jeep driver by breaking up an ambush near a destroyed bridge Lieutenant Colonel Page reached the lines of a surrounded marine garrison at Koto-ri. He then voluntarily developed and trained a reserve force of assorted army troops trapped with the marines. By exemplary leadership and tireless devotion he made an effective tactical unit available. In order that casualties might be evacuated, an airstrip was improvised on frozen ground partly outside of the Koto-ri defense perimeter which was continually under enemy attack. During two such attacks, Lieutenant Colonel Page exposed himself on the airstrip to direct fire on the enemy, and twice mounted the rear deck of a tank, manning the machinegun on the turret to drive the enemy back into a no man's land. On 3 December while being flown low over enemy lines in a light observation plane, Lieutenant Colonel Page dropped hand grenades on Chinese positions and sprayed foxholes with automatic fire from his carbine. After ten days of constant fighting the marine and army units in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir had succeeded in gathering at the edge of the plateau and Lieutenant Colonel Page was flown to Hamhung to arrange for artillery support of the beleaguered troops attempting to break out. Again Lieutenant Colonel Page refused an opportunity to remain in safety and returned to give every assistance to his comrades. As the column slowly moved south Lieutenant Colonel Page joined the rear guard. When it neared the entrance to a narrow pass it came under frequent attacks on both flanks. Mounting an abandoned tank Lieutenant Colonel Page manned the machinegun, braved heavy return fire, and covered the passing vehicles until the danger diminished. Later when another attack threatened his section of the convoy, then in the middle of the pass, Lieutenant Colonel Page took a machinegun to the hillside and delivered effective counterfire, remaining exposed while men and vehicles passed through the ambuscade. On the night of 10 December the convoy reached the bottom of the pass but was halted by a strong enemy force at the front and on both flanks. Deadly small-arms fire poured into the column. Realizing the danger to the column as it lay motionless, Lieutenant Colonel Page fought his way to the head of the column and plunged forward into the heart of the hostile position. His intrepid action so surprised the enemy that their ranks became disordered and suffered heavy casualties. Heedless of his safety, as he had been throughout the preceding ten days, Lieutenant Colonel Page remained forward, fiercely engaging the enemy single-handed until mortally wounded. By his valiant and aggressive spirit Lieutenant Colonel Page enabled friendly forces to stand off the enemy. His outstanding courage, unswerving devotion to duty, and supreme self-sacrifice reflect great credit upon Lieutenant Colonel Page and are in the highest tradition of the military service.
General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 21 (April 25, 1957)
Action Date: November 29 - December 10, 1950
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Battalion: 52d Transportation Truck Battalion (Attached)
Division: X Corps Artillery