Born on December 4, 1919 at Brideton, Maine, he earned the Medal of Honor during the Korean War while serving with the Third Combat Engineer Battalion on July 20, 1950. He was in a truck in the Pusan Perimeter and was trying to break out of any enemy encirclement when enemy fire disabled the truck, wounding or killing everyone else on board but him. He fought off the enemy and gave medical assistance to the wounded, then loading them on a passing vehicle. He shielded the driver of the that vehicle with his own body and received a number of wounds, finally dying from their effect.
He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, which was the FIRST awarded during the Korean War. His body was returned to the United States for burial in Section 34 of Arlington National Cemetery.
LIBBY, GEORGE D.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 3d Engineer Combat Battalion, 24th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Taejon, Korea, 20 July 1950. Entered service at: Waterbury, Connecticut Birth: Bridgton, Maine. G.O. No.: 62, 2 August 1951.
Sgt. Libby distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. While breaking through an enemy encirclement, the vehicle in which he was riding approached an enemy roadblock and encountered devastating fire which disabled the truck, killing or wounding all the passengers except Sgt. Libby. Taking cover in a ditch Sgt. Libby engaged the enemy and despite the heavy fire crossed the road twice to administer aid to his wounded comrades. He then hailed a passing M-5 artillery tractor and helped the wounded aboard. The enemy directed intense small-arms fire at the driver, and Sgt. Libby, realizing that no one else could operate the vehicle, placed himself between the driver and the enemy thereby shielding him while he returned the fire. During this action he received several wounds in the arms and body. Continuing through the town the tractor made frequent stops and Sgt. Libby helped more wounded aboard. Refusing first aid, he continued to shield the driver and return the fire of the enemy when another roadblock was encountered. Sgt. Libby received additional wounds but held his position until he lost consciousness. Sgt. Libby's sustained, heroic actions enabled his comrades to reach friendly lines. His dauntless courage and gallant self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself and uphold the esteemed traditions of the U.S. Army.
Courtesy of the American Battle Monuments Commission
George D. Libby
Cumberland, Maine – Born 1919
Sergeant, US Army
Killed in Action July 20, 1950 in Korea
Sergeant Libby was a member of Company C, 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion 24th Infantry Division. On July 20, 1950, the truck in which he was riding near Taejon, South Korea was disabled and the other passengers were killed or wounded. He stopped an M-5 artillery tractor and placed the wounded on board. When the tractor came under fire and Sergeant Libby was wounded, he positioned himself between the driver and the enemy and fired upon the enemy until he was mortally wounded. For his leadership and extreme valor, Sergeant Libby was awarded the first Medal of Honor given during the Korean War and the Purple Heart.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard