Col. Ralph Puckett, Jr., Medal of Honor

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Col. Ralph Puckett, Jr., Medal of Honor's Geni Profile

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Col. Ralph Puckett, Jr.

Current Location:: Columbus, Muscogee County, Georgia, United States
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Tifton, Tift County, Georgia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Ralph Atticus Puckett, Sr. and Clara Puckett
Husband of Private
Father of Private; Private and Private
Brother of Clara Winston and Thomas Steadman Puckett

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Col. Ralph Puckett, Jr., Medal of Honor

Col. Ralph Puckett, Jr., Medal of Honor led the Eighth Army Ranger Company during the Korean War. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions on November 25, 1950, when his company of 51 Rangers was attacked by several hundred Chinese forces at the battle for Hill 205. He retired from the United States Army in 1971 as a colonel. After being appointed on 19 July 1996, he has served as the Honorary Colonel of the 75th Ranger Regiment and is frequently in demand as a public speaker for military ceremonies.

On April 30, 2021, Puckett was notified of the recent decision to award him the Medal of Honor for his actions on November 25, 1950. He received the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House from President Joe Biden on May 21, 2021. (Wikipedia, CC BY-SA)

Medal of Honor

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to

COLONEL RALPH PUCKETT JR.
UNITED STATES ARMY (RANGER)

for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Commanding Officer of the 8th Ranger Company, 8213th Army Unit, 8th U.S. Army. First Lieutenant Puckett distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces near Unsan, Korea, on 25 and 26 November 1950. With complete disregard for his personal safety, First Lieutenant Puckett led his company across eight hundred yards of open terrain under heavy enemy small-arms fire and captured the company's objective. During this operation he deliberately exposed himself to enemy machine-gun fire to enable his men to spot locations of the machine guns. After capturing the objective, he directed preparation of defensive positions against an expected enemy counterattack. At 2200 hours on 25 November 1950, while directing the defense of his position against a heavy counterattack, he was wounded in the right shoulder. Refusing evacuation, he continued to direct his company through four more counterattacks by a numerically superior force who advanced to within grenade range before being driven back. During these attacks, he left the safety of his foxhole in order to observe movements of the enemy and to direct artillery fire. In so doing, he repeatedly exposed himself to heavy small-arms and mortar fire. In the sixth counterattack, at 0300 hours on 26 November 1950, he was wounded again, so seriously that he was unable to move. Detecting that his company was about to be overrun and forced to withdraw, he ordered his men to leave him behind so as not to endanger their withdrawal. Despite his protests, he was dragged from the hill to a position of safety. First Lieutenant Puckett's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Sources

  • "Granddaughter Of Mrs. John E. Kieffer To Wed Lt. Puckett Late In November." The Brownstown (Ind.) Banner, published 3 September 1952, p. 1-4. < link > Accessed 21 May 2021.
  • "Ralph Puckett." Wikipedia, revision of 21 May 2021. < link > Accessed 21 May 2021.
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Col. Ralph Puckett, Jr., Medal of Honor's Timeline

1926
December 8, 1926
Tifton, Tift County, Georgia, United States