Born at Melrose, Massachusetts, on December 25, 1930 he earned the Medal of Honor while serving with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 1st United States Marines at Sosa-ri, Korea, on September 17 and 20, 1950.
He was killed-in-action and subsequently buried in Section 34 of Arlington National Cemetery.
Marine Private First Class Walter C. Monegan, Jr., won the Medal of Honor in Korea when he gave his life to help repulse an overwhelming enemy tank and infantry attack.
Private Monegan, 19, of Seattle, Washington, was killed September 20, 1950, near Seoul, as he calmly stepped out into the heavy fire of an enemy tank-infantry attack and proceeded to methodically knock out the tanks at close range with his rocket.
The Medal was presented to his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth C. Monegan, by Secretary of the Navy, Dan Kimball, during ceremonies February 8, 1952, in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Monegan resides with her infant son, Walter III, in Seattle, Washington.
Private Monegan was born December 25, 1930 at Melrose, Massachusetts. He attended schools at Malden, Reading, and Walpole, Massachusetts, and in November, 1947 (before his seventeenth birthday), enlisted in the Army. He was discharged in January, 1948, when his age was discovered, and enlisted in the Marine Corps, March 22, 1948 at Baltimore, Maryland.
After completing his recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina, in June, 1948, Monegan was ordered to San Francisco, where he sailed for duty in China with the Third Marine at Tsingtao.
He returned to the States in June, 1949, and was stationed at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California, until June, 1950, when he was ordered to the Marine Barracks, Naval Air Station, Seattle. He reenlisted, July 20, 1950, and the following month returned to Camp Pendleton, where he joined the Second Battalion, First Regiment, First Marine Division, with which he fought in Korea.
He participated in the Inchon landing, September 15, and was killed in action five days later. He was buried at Inchon, Korea and reinterred, July 19, 1951, at Arlington National Cemetery.
In addition to the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart Medal, his decorations include: the Presidential Unit Citation with one Bronze Star; the China Service Medal; and the Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Star.
MONEGAN, WALTER C., JR.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company F, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Near Sosa-ri, Korea, 17 and 20 September 1950. Entered service at: Seattle, Washington. Born: 25 December 1930, Melrose, Massachusetts.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rocket gunner attached to Company F, and in action against enemy aggressor forces. Dug in on a hill overlooking the main Seoul highway when 6 enemy tanks threatened to break through the battalion position during a predawn attack on 17 September, Pfc. Monegan promptly moved forward with his bazooka, under heavy hostile automatic weapons fre and engaged the lead tank at a range of less than 50 yards. After scoring a direct hit and killing the sole surviving tankman with his carbine as he came through the escape hatch, he boldly fired 2 more rounds of ammunition at the oncoming tanks, disorganizing the attack and enabling our tank crews to continue blasting with their 90-mm guns. With his own and an adjacent company's position threatened by annihilation when an overwhelming enemy tank-infantry force bypassed the area and proceeded toward the battalion command post during the early morning of September 20, he seized his rocket launcher and, in total darkness, charged down the slope of the hill where the tanks had broken through. Quick to act when an illuminating shell lit the area, he scored a direct hit on one of the tanks as hostile rifle and automatic-weapons fire raked the area at close range. Again exposing himself, he fired another round to destroy a second tank and, as the rear tank turned to retreat, stood upright to fire and was fatally struck down by hostile machine gun fire when another illuminating shell silhouetted him against the sky. Pfc. Monegan's daring initiative, gallant fighting spirit and courageous devotion to duty were contributing factors in the success of his company in repelling the enemy, and his self-sacrificing efforts throughout sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
COURTESY OF THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION
Walter Carleton Monegan, Jr.
Born at Melrose, Massachuetts, December 25, 1930
Private First Class, US Marine Corps
Killed in Action September 20, 1950 in Korea
Private First Class Monegan was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division. On September 17, 1950, he established a position for his rocket launcher along the Seoul highway. When six enemy tanks threatened to break through his battalion's position, singlehandedly, he fired on the tanks, destroying one and blunting the attack. During the early morning of September 20, 1950, an enemy tank column threatened the battalion command post near Sosa-ri, Korea, he attacked the column destroying two enemy tanks using a rocket launcher and killed the occupants as they disembarked. He was attacking a third tank when he was killed by small arms fire. For his leadership and great valor, Private First Class Monegan was awarded the Medal of Honor.
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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