Charles George, PFC (1932 - 1952)

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Nicknames: ""Tsali""
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Cherokee, NC, USA
Death: Died in Songnae-dong, Korea.
Cause of death: threw himself on a grenade
Occupation: 179th Infantry
Managed by: Marvin Caulk, (C)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Charles George, PFC

Charles George (August 23, 1932–November 30, 1952) was a U.S. Army soldier who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in combat on November 30, 1952, during the Korean War. He was fatally wounded when he threw himself on a grenade to protect other soldiers in his company and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.


Biography


George was born in Cherokee, North Carolina. He entered service at Whittier, North Carolina. At the time of George's death in battle he held the rank of Private First Class in Company C of the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. The action for which he received the Medal of Honor was near Songnae-dong, Korea.


Medal of Honor citation


The Medal of Honor was awarded on March 18, 1954. The citation read:

Pfc. George, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy on the night of November 30, 1952. He was a member of a raiding party committed to engage the enemy and capture a prisoner for interrogation. Forging up the rugged slope of the key terrain feature, the group was subjected to intense mortar and machine gun fire and suffered several casualties. Throughout the advance, he fought valiantly and, upon reaching the crest of the hill, leaped into the trenches and closed with the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. When friendly troops were ordered to move back upon completion of the assignment, he and 2 comrades remained to cover the withdrawal. While in the process of leaving the trenches a hostile soldier hurled a grenade into their midst.

Pfc. George shouted a warning to 1 comrade, pushed the other soldier out of danger, and, with full knowledge of the consequences, unhesitatingly threw himself upon the grenade, absorbing the full blast of the explosion. Although seriously wounded in this display of valor, he refrained from any outcry which would divulge the position of his companions. The 2 soldiers evacuated him to the forward aid station and shortly thereafter he succumbed to his wound. Pfc. George's indomitable courage, consummate devotion to duty, and willing self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself and uphold the finest traditions of the military service --------------------

Charles George (August 23, 1932–November 30, 1952) was a U.S. Army soldier who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in combat on November 30, 1952, during the Korean War. He was fatally wounded when he threw himself on a grenade to protect other soldiers in his company and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

George was born in Cherokee, North Carolina and was a Cherokee Indian of the Eastern Band. George's Cherokee name "Tsali" means self-sacrifice. He entered service at Whittier, North Carolina. At the time of George's death in battle he held the rank of Private First Class in Company C of the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. The action for which he received the Medal of Honor was near Songnae-dong, Korea.

The Medal of Honor was awarded on March 18, 1954. The citation read:

   Pfc. George, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy on the night of November 30, 1952. He was a member of a raiding party committed to engage the enemy and capture a prisoner for interrogation. Forging up the rugged slope of the key terrain feature, the group was subjected to intense mortar and machine gun fire and suffered several casualties. Throughout the advance, he fought valiantly and, upon reaching the crest of the hill, leaped into the trenches and closed with the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. 

When friendly troops were ordered to move back upon completion of the assignment, he and 2 comrades remained to cover the withdrawal. While in the process of leaving the trenches a hostile soldier hurled a grenade into their midst. Pfc. George shouted a warning to 1 comrade, pushed the other soldier out of danger, and, with full knowledge of the consequences, unhesitatingly threw himself upon the grenade, absorbing the full blast of the explosion. Although seriously wounded in this display of valor, he refrained from any outcry which would divulge the position of his companions.

The 2 soldiers evacuated him to the forward aid station and shortly thereafter he succumbed to his wound. Pfc. George's indomitable courage, consummate devotion to duty, and willing self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself and uphold the finest traditions of the military service

http://gma.yahoo.com/boys-track-down-owner-war-medals-231512259--abc-news-topstories.html

http://theonefeather.com/2012/11/his-medals-are-home/

“Pfc. George gave his life for his fellow soldiers, for his buddies. There is no greater honor than to sacrifice and to make the supreme sacrifice as he did. His memory must never be forgotten, nor will it because the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, his fellow veterans, will always remember his sacrifice.”

Barbara Duncan, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, related, “The medals returned to the George family were given to the Steve Youngdeer VFW Post 143, and their Service Officer, Sgt. Warren DuPree, donated them to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian on behalf of the George family today. Charles George’s Medal of Honor and his second Purple Heart were donated to the Museum some years ago by the George family, and we will display the newly returned medals with them.”

http://cherokeeamericanlegionnc.com/PFC_Charles_George.php

Shortly before shipping off to join 45th Infantry Division in Korea, Charles George made one last stop at the Cherokee school in the Qualla Boundary. He talked with the children about serving their country, serving their people and staying true to the Cherokee warrior tradition. The words he spoke echoed those of his elders, words that embody the beliefs of his people. At 20 years old he was more than a new recruit volunteering for combat in Korea; he was a warrior following in the footsteps of his ancestors, going into combat to protect his people.

Like all Native Americans, the Eastern Band Cherokee have a complicated history with the United States Government, riddled with betrayal and broken promises. Separated from most of their tribe who live in Oklahoma, the Eastern Band remain in a small portion of their ancestral lands deep within the cool, lush mountains of Western North Carolina. While fiercely loyal to the United States, the Cherokee preserve and honor their language and customs on land they have loved for hundreds of years. It may be a new government, but theirs is an old Nation In 1952, the war was in Korea and the political goal was to stop communist expansion in Asia. However, for Charles George, the fight was to protect his country, people and his beloved mountains.

Extremely patriotic, the Eastern Band of Cherokee have a long tradition of US military service. During the first World War, every able-bodied man from the Eastern Band served his country – a country that had yet to allow them to vote. When the United States entered World War II, Eastern Band Cherokees volunteered again. While only a couple of thousand Cherokee lived in the Boundary during the 1940s, hundreds of men and women left the Qualla to serve their county. When the Korean War raged, it was natural for Charles George to follow the warrior tradition of his people.

His parents named him Tsali, which translates into English as Charlie or Charles. In Cherokee history, Tsali is a name synonymous with self-sacrifice. In 1838 during the midst of Cherokee removal to Oklahoma, the legendary hero Tsali selflessly gave his life, so that some of his people could remain in the ancestral homeland. Carrying the name of an ancient hero of his people, Charles George was a quiet young man growing up in the small, isolated mountain community of Birdtown.

The George family home place was situated beside the Oconaluftee River, and Charles (or Charlie, as his family and friends called him) would often spend his afternoons swimming and fishing in the river. Always taking time to speak to passers-by and offer them fish he had caught that day, Charlie was someone who thought beyond himself. It was instinctual. He was of the Bird Clan, he was Cherokee, and he was an American. When his country went to war, Charlie could not stay in the Qualla Boundary. He was compelled by honor, tradition, and instinct to take up arms and protect his country.

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PFC Charles George, Medal of Honor's Timeline

1932
August 23, 1932
Cherokee, NC, USA
1952
November 30, 1952
Age 20
Songnae-dong, Korea.
1954
March 18, 1954
Age 20
Washington D.C., DC, USA

Pfc. George, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy on the night of November 30, 1952. He was a member of a raiding party committed to engage the enemy and capture a prisoner for interrogation. Forging up the rugged slope of the key terrain feature, the group was subjected to intense mortar and machine gun fire and suffered several casualties. Throughout the advance, he fought valiantly and, upon reaching the crest of the hill, leaped into the trenches and closed with the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. When friendly troops were ordered to move back upon completion of the assignment, he and 2 comrades remained to cover the withdrawal. While in the process of leaving the trenches a hostile soldier hurled a grenade into their midst. Pfc. George shouted a warning to 1 comrade, pushed the other soldier out of danger, and, with full knowledge of the consequences, unhesitatingly threw himself upon the grenade, absorbing the full blast of the explosion. Although seriously wounded in this display of valor, he refrained from any outcry which would divulge the position of his companions. The 2 soldiers evacuated him to the forward aid station and shortly thereafter he succumbed to his wound. Pfc. George's indomitable courage, consummate devotion to duty, and willing self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself and uphold the finest traditions of the military service

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Yellow Hill Cemetery in Cherokee, NC.