William's Top Matches
About William Richard Charette
Corpsman William Charette was designated the Korean War veteran to select from the remains of three unidentified combat casualties, the Unknown Soldier of the Korean War.
Born on March 29, 1932, in Ludington, Michigan, Charette graduated from high school there in 1951. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on January 11, 1951, and underwent recruit training at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. He then attended the Hospital Corps School at Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland, becoming a Hospital Corpsman upon graduation. Duty at the Naval Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina, and an April 16, 1952, promotion to hospital corpsman third class followed.
Charette volunteered to serve in Korea and reported for field training at Field Medical Service School, Camp Pendleton, California, on November 25, 1952. He joined Company F of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, which embarked for Korea on February 5 of the next year
Medal of Honor
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Hospital Corpsman Third Class William Richard Charette, United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Medical Corpsman with Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea during the early morning hours on 27 March 1953. Participating in a fierce encounter with a cleverly concealed and well-entrenched enemy force occupying positions on a vital and bitterly contested outpost far in advance of the main line of resistance, Hospital Corpsman Third Class. Charette repeatedly and unhesitatingly moved about through a murderous barrage of hostile small-arms and mortar fire to render assistance to his wounded comrades. When an enemy grenade landed within a few feet of a marine he was attending, he immediately threw himself upon the stricken man and absorbed the entire concussion of the deadly missile with his body. Although sustaining painful facial wounds, and undergoing shock from the intensity of the blast which ripped the helmet and medical aid kit from his person, Hospital Corpsman Third Class Charette resourcefully improvised emergency bandages by tearing off part of his clothing, and gallantly continued to administer medical aid to the wounded in his own unit and to those in adjacent platoon areas as well. Observing a seriously wounded comrade whose armored vest had been torn from his body by the blast from an exploding shell, he selflessly removed his own battle vest and placed it upon the helpless man although fully aware of the added jeopardy to himself. Moving to the side of another casualty who was suffering excruciating pain from a serious leg wound, Hospital Corpsman Third Class Charette stood upright in the trench line and exposed himself to a deadly hail of enemy fire in order to lend more effective aid to the victim and to alleviate his anguish while being removed to a position of safety. By his indomitable courage and inspiring efforts in behalf of his wounded comrades, Hospital Corpsman Third Class Charette was directly responsible for saving many lives. His great personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
Action Date: 27-Mar-53
Rank: Hospital Corpsman Third Class
Company: Corpsman (Attached), Company F
Battalion: 2d Battalion
Regiment: 7th Marines
Division: 1st Marine Division