Editor’s note: This Veterans Day Voice of OC is publishing a series of plaques honoring some of Orange County’s most decorated veterans. William Barber was born on November 30, 1919, in West Liberty, Kentucky. He died on April 19, 2002
The President of the United States of America, authorized by
Act of Congress, 3 March 1863, has awarded the Medal of Honor to
Captain William E. Barber
United States Marine Corps
Citation: Captain William E. Barber for conspicuous gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commander officer of company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein) in, action against aggressor forces on 28 November to 2 December 1950 at the Chosin Reservoir Area, Korea.
Assigned to defend a mountain pass along the main supply line and commanding the only route from Yudam Ni to Hagaru-ri. Capt. Barber took up defensive positions with his troops and dug in.
When a force of regimental strength attacked during the night, inflicting heavy casualties and finally surrounding his position, Capt. Barber gave assurance that he could hold if supplied by airdrop, and requested to stand fast when ordered by radio to fight their way back to a relieving force.
He chose to risk the loss of his command rather than sacrifice more men if the enemy forced a renewed battle, or abandon his many wounded who were unable to walk. Although severely wounded in his leg, he continued to maintain personal control, often moving along the line on the stretcher, encouraging and inspiring his men.
Waging battle throughout 5 days and 6 nights repelling fanatical aggressors, his command accounted for over 1000 enemy dead. His personal courage, valor, and fortitude were decisive factors in the successful withdrawal of the division from the Chosin Reservoir and reflect the highest credit upon Capt. Barber and the United States Naval Service.
Orange County Walk of Honor by AMVETS
More about William Barber:
- William Barbar bio Legion of Valor
- Arlington National Cemetery Website
- Voice of OC to Publish Series on Veterans Memorial Plaques