50 of America’s Greatest War Heroes

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Source: U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons

36. Matej Kocak
> Rank: Sergeant
> Military branch: Marines
> Served in: WWI
> Medal(s) of valor: Medal of Honor, Silver Star

Kocak put two German machine-gun nests out of action in 1918. Kocak would later be killed in another battle toward the end of World War I.

Source: United States Army / Wikimedia Commons

37. Matt L. Urban
> Rank: Captain
> Military branch: Army
> Served in: WWII
> Medal(s) of valor: Medal of Honor, Silver Star

Urban finally received the Medal of Honor in 1980 after a long-lost recommendation had been found. Urban was cited for bravery during the Normandy campaign in 1944. He received the Purple Heart seven times.

Source: US Army Africa / Wikimedia Commons

38. Melvin Morris
> Rank: Sergeant
> Military branch: Army
> Served in: Vietnam War
> Medal(s) of valor: Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross

Morris was cited for eliminating North Vietnamese positions with hand grenades and destroying four bunkers. He also recovered bodies of fallen comrades and helped wounded soldiers back to U.S. lines.

Source: Three Lions / Getty Images

39. Merritt A. Edson
> Rank: Colonel
> Military branch: Marines
> Served in: WWII
> Medal(s) of valor: Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Silver Star

Edson was honored for his defense of Lunga Ridge near a key airfield on Guadalcanal in 1942.

Source: National Museum of the US Air Force

40. Neel E. Kearby
> Rank: Colonel
> Military branch: Army
> Served in: WWII
> Medal(s) of valor: Medal of Honor, Silver Star

Kearby was an aggressive fighter pilot who frequently took on superior enemy numbers. On Oct. 11, 1943, he and three other pilots went against nearly 50 Japanese aircraft. Kearby shot down six Japanese aircraft and received the Medal of Honor. He would be killed in action the following year.