Born in Worthington, Kentucky, on April 3, 1929, he was awarded the Medal of Honor during the Korean War while serving with Company C, 27th Infantry at Ohindong-ni, Korea, on September 19, 1950.
He was killed-in-action on that date and was buried first in Korea. He was subsequently moved to Section 12, Grave 4637, of Arlington National Cemetery.
COLLIER, JOHN W.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company C, 27th Infantry Regiment. Place and date: Near Chindong-ni, Korea, 19 September 1950. Entered service at: Worthington, Kentucky. Born: 3 April 1929, Worthington, Kentucky. G.O. No.: 86, 2 August 1951.
Corporal Collier, Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. While engaged in an assault on a strategic ridge strongly defended by a fanatical enemy, the leading elements of his company encountered intense automatic weapons and grenade fire. Corporal Collier and 3 comrades volunteered and moved forward to neutralize an enemy machine gun position which was hampering the company's advance, but they were twice repulsed. On the third attempt, Corporal Collier, despite heavy enemy fire and grenade barrages, moved to an exposed position ahead of his comrades, assaulted and destroyed the machine gun nest, killing at least 4 enemy soldiers. As he returned down the rocky, fire-swept hill and joined his squad, an enemy grenade landed in their midst. Shouting a warning to his comrades, he, selflessly and unhesitatingly, threw himself upon the grenade and smothered its explosion with his body. This intrepid action saved his comrades from death or injury. Corporal Collier's supreme, personal bravery, consummate gallantry, and noble self-sacrifice reflect untold glory upon himself and uphold the honored traditions of the military service.
Courtesy of the American Battle Monuments Commission
John W. Collier
Born at Worthington, Kentucky, April 3, 1929
Corporal, US Army
Killed in Action September 19, 1950 in Korea
Corporal Collier was a member of Company C, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. On September 19, 1950, he volunteered to lead three comrades on an assault of a heavily fortified position near Chindong-ni, South Korea. He destroyed an enemy machine-gun nest killing four North Koreans. After he rejoined his squad, a grenade fell among them. Warning his comrades to take cover, he fell upon the grenade killing himself. For his leadership and great valor, Corporal Collier was awarded the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart posthumously.
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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