Special Report

Every State's Most Impressive Medal of Honor Recipient

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The United States Medal of Honor, the highest military distinction, is awarded to recognize extraordinary acts of valor. Of the more than 41 million people who have ever served in the U.S. military over the nation’s history, about 3,500 were awarded the Medal of Honor, exhibiting heroism, selflessness, devotion, and going above and beyond the call of duty. (Here is every medal and ribbon the U.S. military awards, ranked.)

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Congressional Medal of Honor Society‘s database of recipients throughout history to identify the most impressive recipient attributed to each state. It should be noted that for a recipient to be attributed to a certain state, they did not need to be born in that state, but rather enlist there. Information about the recipient and the number of total medals attributed to the state, also came from the CMOHS database. The recipient’s rank is the rank at the time of action the medal was awarded for.

Nineteen men received two medals for actions in different wars, and many are listed as the most impressive in their state. Others on the list made major breakthroughs, such as the first Black American or the first and only woman. (Here are the most decorated war heroes in American history.)

Considered the “Greatest Civilian Soldier” during World War I, Alvin York originally sought exemption from service as a conscientious objector but would later go to serve and become a legend. Hailing from Tennessee, York was drafted in the U.S. Army. At the front lines of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, outnumbered, he took 35 German machine gun nests out of action and captured 132 enemy soldiers. York’s story would go on to be told on the silver screen, and the New York Times would herald him as “the war’s biggest hero.”

Another conscientious objector achieved greatness but in World War II. Desmond Doss, hailing from Virginia, refused to bear arms due to his faith and served as a medic in the Battle of Okinawa. Doss’s story is different from many, embodying his philosophy of self-sacrifice. At Hacksaw Ridge and under relentless enemy fire, he rushed into danger to save at least 75 lives in a single day. His story would go on to be told in the Oscar-winning film Hacksaw Ridge.

Alvin York and Desmond Doss are a testament to the Medal of Honor’s legacy of valor and sacrifice, and there are many more recipients with similar stories of heroism and courage. 

Here is a look at the most impressive Medal of Honor Recipients from each state.

Alabama: William Robert Lawley Jr.
> Rank: First Lieutenant
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army Air Corps
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 21 — 18th fewest

On Feb. 20, 1944, 1st Lt. William Robert Lawley, a B-17 pilot, was flying over enemy-occupied Europe. Despite being seriously wounded, having a crippled plane, and losing his copilot, Lawley managed to evade enemy fighters, control an engine fire, and make a successful crash landing. He did this to save two severely wounded crewmembers, refusing to abandon them despite the risk and his own exhaustion.

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Alaska: None
> Rank:
> War during which medal was earned:
> Military branch:
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 0 — the fewest

Alaska has no medal of honor recipients.

Arizona: John Henry Pruitt
> Rank: Corporal
> War during which medal was earned: World War I
> Military branch: U.S. Marine Corps
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 14 — 13th fewest

Cpl. John Pruitt was a veteran of the 6th Marine Regiment in WWI. He is remembered for his remarkable courage during the Battles of Belleau Wood, Chateau-Thierry, and Blanc Mont Ridge. He captured an enemy machine gun and 40 prisoners single-handedly before dying from enemy shell fire, earning him three Silver Stars and posthumous Medals of Honor from both the Army and Navy.

Arkansas: James Richard Hendrix
> Rank: Private
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 11 — 10th fewest

On Dec. 26, 1944, near Assenois, Belgium, Pvt. James Richard Hendrix compelled surrender from two artillery gun crews, took out hostile machine guns under heavy fire to aid wounded comrades, and risked his life through enemy sniper fire and exploding mines to rescue a soldier from a burning vehicle.

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California: Ty Michael Carter
> Rank: Specialist
> War during which medal was earned: War On Terrorism (Afghanistan)
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 138 — 6th most

Spc. Ty M. Carter displayed extraordinary heroism during combat in Afghanistan in 2009. Despite personal risk, he repeatedly braved enemy fire to resupply ammunition, single-handedly defend a vulnerable position with only his M4 carbine rifle, and rescue a critically wounded comrade. He repeatedly moved into enemy fire to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. His actions were pivotal in protecting Combat Outpost Keating from capture and saving multiple lives.

Colorado: Drew Dennis Dix
> Rank: Staff Sergeant
> War during which medal was earned: Vietnam War
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 23 — 21st fewest

As a unit adviser to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, Staff Sergeant Drew Dennis Dix

played a critical role in defending the city of Chau Phu from two Viet Cong battalions. Dix led multiple rescue missions under intense conditions, saving a nurse and eight civilian employees. Under relentless enemy fire, he rescued two Filipinos and cleared the city’s hotel, theater, and other buildings. His actions inspired local soldiers to join the fight, leading to 14 Viet Cong being shot down and 20 more captured, including a high-ranking official. Dix helped rescue 14 civilians, and captured 20 prisoners and 15 weapons.

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Connecticut: John A Chapman
> Rank: Technical Sergeant
> War during which medal was earned: War On Terrorism (Afghanistan)
> Military branch: U.S. Air Force
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 56 — 14th most

Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman demonstrated exceptional bravery during a mission in Takur Ghar, Afghanistan, on March 4, 2002. Voluntarily reinserting into enemy territory to rescue a teammate, he fearlessly assaulted two enemy bunkers under intense fire, moving uphill through deep snow, ultimately succumbing to his wounds.

Delaware: James Phillip Connor
> Rank: Sergeant
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 13 — 11th fewest

On Aug. 15, 1944, Sgt. James Phillip Connor led his platoon in overcoming a numerically superior enemy at Cape Cavalaire, during the southern France amphibious landing. Despite being seriously wounded three times, he refused medical aid, personally eliminated threats, and inspired his depleted platoon to complete their mission, taking out seven enemies and capturing 40 more, seizing key material, and securing all of the platoon’s assigned objectives.

Florida: Robert Ronald Ingram
> Rank: Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class
> War during which medal was earned: Vietnam War
> Military branch: U.S. Navy
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 23 — 22nd fewest

On March 28, 1966, in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Ronald Ingram of the U.S. Marines displayed exceptional bravery under fire from more than 100 North Vietnam Aggressors. Despite being wounded four times, he tirelessly provided medical aid to his fellow Marines during an intense firefight with the NVA. His selfless actions, risking his life beyond the call of duty, saved many lives.

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Georgia: Joe Madison Jackson
> Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
> War during which medal was earned: Vietnam War
> Military branch: U.S. Air Force
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 22 — 20th fewest

Lt. Col. Joe Madison Jackson displayed exceptional bravery as a C-123 pilot during a rescue mission, which he volunteered for, at the special forces camp at Kham Duc. Despite heavy enemy fire, hazardous conditions, and rapidly deteriorating weather, he courageously landed his aircraft in the hostile area to rescue a three-man Air Force Combat Control Team, under constant, intense enemy fire. During the operation, a rocket landed in the nose of the aircraft but did not explode.

Hawaii: Daniel K Inouye
> Rank: First Lieutenant
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 7 — 5th fewest

On April 21, 1945, 2nd Lt. (then 1st Lt.) Daniel K. Inouye demonstrated extraordinary heroism during an attack in San Terenzo, Italy. Despite being wounded, he led his platoon through intense enemy fire and personally neutralized several enemy positions. His leadership and bravery resulted in the capture of a strategic ridge and the defeat of 25 enemy soldiers.

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Idaho: David Bruce Bleak
> Rank: Sergeant
> War during which medal was earned: Korean War
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 10 — 9th fewest

Despite intense enemy fire, Sgt. David Bruce Bleak, a medical aidman, treated wounded comrades, eliminated enemy soldiers in close combat, including with his bare hands, and shielded a fellow soldier from a grenade blast. While wounded himself, he was carrying a wounded soldier downhill when attacked by two enemies with fixed bayonets. He staved off the attack by knocking the two soldiers’ heads together.

Illinois: Vito R Bertoldo
> Rank: Master Sergeant
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 207 — 5th most

Master Sgt. Vito R Bertoldo demonstrated exceptional bravery in a 48-hour defense against a vastly larger enemy force, maintaining posts despite severe exposure to enemy fire. Using a machine gun and grenades, he thwarted numerous attacks, personally eliminated at least 40 enemy soldiers, and facilitated the withdrawal of his comrades. During the fight, Bertoldo was blown across the room twice, first by an 88mm shell and then by a tank shell from just 50 yards away. Both times he immediately got up and returned to his post.

Indiana: Richard Nott Antrim
> Rank: Lieutenant
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Navy
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 74 — 12th most

In April 1942, Cmdr. (then Lt.) Richard Nott Antrim demonstrated extraordinary courage as a prisoner of war in Macassar, Celebes, Netherlands East Indies. Witnessing a brutal beating of a fellow naval officer by a Japanese guard, Antrim intervened, offering to take the remainder of the punishment. His courageous act not only saved a fellow officer and improved camp conditions, but also earned him widespread respect from both the captors and his fellow prisoners.

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Iowa: Junior Dean Edwards
> Rank: Sergeant First Class
> War during which medal was earned: Korean War
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 54 — 15th most

Sgt. 1st Class Junior Dean Edwards of Company E repeatedly, and on his own, charged enemy machine gun positions and neutralized them with grenades, despite intense enemy fire. Even though he was mortally wounded in his third assault, his heroic actions allowed his platoon to recapture and hold a strategic position.

Kansas: Henry Hogan
> Rank: Private
> War during which medal was earned: World War I
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 28 — 24th fewest

Pvt. Henry Hogan, an Ireland-born soldier in Company G, 5th U.S. Infantry, was awarded two Medals of Honor for gallantry. The first was for actions at Cedar Creek, Montana (1876-1877), with limited details in the citation besides “gallantry in action.” The second was awarded after Hogan rescued the severely wounded Lt. Henry Romeyn, himself a medal of honor recipient, under heavy gunfire at Bear Paw Mountain, Montana. Hogan is one of three Medal of Honor recipients to save another recipient’s life.

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Kentucky: Mary Edwards Walker
> Rank: Contract Surgeon
> War during which medal was earned: U.S. Civil War
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 43 — 21st most

Dr. Mary E. Walker, the only woman to receive the Medal of Honor, served as a voluntary field surgeon for the Union Army during the Civil War. She provided critical medical aid to both sides, enduring hardships as a contract surgeon and spending four months as a prisoner of war. President Andrew Johnson awarded her the Medal of Honor in 1865.

Louisiana: Jefferson Joseph Deblanc
> Rank: Captain
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 24 — 23rd fewest

On Jan. 31, 1943, Capt. Jefferson Joseph DeBlanc earned his medal as a Marine Fighting Squadron 112, during aerial operations against Japanese forces off Kolombangara Island. Despite facing a much larger Japanese force and sustaining severe damage to his aircraft, Deblanc successfully escorted dive bombers, disrupted enemy attacks, and shot down five enemy planes, including three Zeros, before being forced to bail out over enemy waters.

Maine: Gary Ivan Gordon
> Rank: Master Sergeant
> War during which medal was earned: Somalia (Operation Restore Hope)
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 66 — 13th most

As recreated in the film Black Hawk Down, Master Sgt. Gary I. Gordon, a U.S. Army sniper team leader, demonstrated extraordinary heroism during the 1993 Task Force Ranger mission in Mogadishu, Somalia. Despite intense enemy fire, he volunteered to protect critically wounded personnel at a crash site. Gordon fought through enemy lines, established a perimeter, and continued defending the crew until his ammunition was depleted and he was fatally wounded.

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Maryland: Patrick Mullen
> Rank: Boatswain’S Mate
> War during which medal was earned: U.S. Civil War
> Military branch: U.S. Navy
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 83 — 9th most

Irish-born Boatswain’S Mate Patrick Mullen earned two Medals of Honor in 1865. On March 17, during a boating expedition, Mullen’s howitzer fire dispersed enemy soldiers. Then, on May 1, he saved a drowning officer, hurling himself into the water to rescue his shipmate on the USS Don.

Massachusetts: William Harvey Carney, Civil War
> Rank: Sergeant
> War during which medal was earned: U.S. Civil War
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 265 — 3rd most

Sgt. William Harvey Carney, the first Black American Medal of Honor recipient, was born into slavery in Virginia but found freedom in Massachusetts. He enlisted in the Union Army’s 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, memorialized in the film “Glory,” one of the first Black American military units. During the assault on Fort Wagner, Carney took hold of the Union flag after the original bearer fell. Despite sustaining injuries and the regiment’s retreat, he held onto the flag throughout the conflict. Recognized for his bravery, he received the Medal of Honor in 1900.

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Michigan: Thomas Ward Custer
> Rank: Second Lieutenant
> War during which medal was earned: U.S. Civil War
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 109 — 7th most

A Civil War soldier, 2nd Lt. Thomas Ward Custer was the first to earn two Medal of Honor. His initial honor was for leading a successful cavalry charge at the Battle of Namozine Church, where he captured a Confederate flag and took 14 prisoners. Days later, at the Battle of Sailor’s Creek, he once more captured a Confederate flag after breaking a Confederate line. Despite being shot in the face, he managed to seize the flag and present it to his brother. Custer, along with his two brothers, died in the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876.

Minnesota: Leo Keith Thorsness
> Rank: Major
> War during which medal was earned: Vietnam War
> Military branch: U.S. Air Force
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 46 — 19th most

During a suppression mission over North Vietnam, Lt. Col. (then Maj.) Leo Keith Thorsness, piloting an F-105 aircraft, silenced two missile sites. His wingman was shot down, and while keeping sight of the crew’s parachutes, he destroyed a MIG-17. Despite low fuel, Thorsness returned to the scene, faced four MIG-17s, damaging one and driving the rest away. He then landed at a forward operating base, allowing the low on fuel aircraft fuel to refuel safely.

Mississippi: Van Thomas Barfoot
> Rank: Technical Sergeant
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 18 — 15th fewest

On May 23, 1944, in Carano, Italy, 2nd Lt. (then Tech. Sgt.) Van Thomas Barfoot single-handedly took out two machine gun nests with grenades and his Thompson submachine gun and captured 17 prisoners. He then organized a counterattack, firing on three tanks with a bazooka from 75 yards, disabling one. Despite extreme fatigue, he then helped carry two wounded comrades 1,700 yards to safety.

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Missouri: Willy F James Jr.
> Rank: Private First Class
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 78 — 10th most

During an assault in Lippoldsberg, Germany on April 7, 1945, Pvt. 1st Class Willy F. James Jr. was in the forward position on a scouting mission. He exposed himself to intense enemy fire to observe and report on enemy positions, making his way over 200 yards of open terrain. Using the important information he acquired, he volunteered to lead a squad assault on a key building. Later, James Jr. again risked his life to aid his fallen platoon leader and unfortunately was fatally shot in the process.

Montana: Leo J Powers
> Rank: Private First Class
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 8 — 7th fewest

On Feb. 3, 1944, Pfc. Leo J Powers’ company was tasked with capturing Hill 175 near Cassino, Italy. The enemy, around 50 strong, defended the location with machine guns and mortars, causing eight casualties and halting the company’s advance. Powers, acting alone, used hand grenades to neutralize three enemy pillboxes, which allowed his company to advance. His actions led to the capture of several enemy soldiers and greatly contributed to his regiment’s ability to progress into the city of Cassino.

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Nebraska: Charles Chris Hagemeister
> Rank: Specialist Fourth Class
> War during which medal was earned: Vietnam War
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 20 — 16th fewest

When his platoon was ambushed, Spc. 4th Class Charles Chris Hagemeister rushed through enemy fire to provide medical aid to his fallen comrades, single-handedly neutralizing a threatening sniper and taking out an enemy machine gun. Unable to retreat, he secured additional help and evacuated the wounded, all while under continuous enemy fire.

Nevada: Bruce Avery Van Voorhis
> Rank: Lieutenant Commander
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Navy
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 2 — 2nd fewest

During the Solomon Islands battle, Lt. Cmdr. Bruce Avery Van Voorhis, Bombing Squadron 102’s leader, took off in total darkness and flew 700 miles without fighter escort, destroying key enemy installations and aircraft. Giving up on returning home, Van Voorhis continued to attack enemy targets on his own, making six ground-level bombing runs, destroying a radio station, installations, anti-aircraft guns and crews, before, caught in his own bomb blast, his plane crashed and he lost his life.

New Hampshire: Chris Carr
> Rank: Sergeant
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 36 — 22nd most

Sgt. Chris Carr led a unit of Company L, facilitating their approach toward Casoni di Remagna. When encountering resistance, he advanced alone to disable enemy positions. He captured eight enemy soldiers at the first position and one at the second. Moving on, he neutralized a third position, resulting in the surrender of all four defenders. He then approached a high ground with two machine gun nests, destroying the first and causing the immediate surrender of the second. His actions resulted in the capture of five positions, eight enemy combatants shot down, and 22 prisoners.

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New Jersey: John “Manila John” Basilone
> Rank: Sergeant
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Marine Corps
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 94 — 8th most

As depicted in the HBO series “The Pacific,” Sgt. John Basilone, AKA “Manila John,” earned his medal during the 1942 Guadalcanal campaign. Leading two sections of heavy machine guns, he repelled an overwhelming Japanese assault. Despite being under heavy fire and with ammunition running low, Basilone maneuvered through enemy lines to retrieve vital machine gun ammo, and he is credited with effectively defeating an entire Japanese regiment. Basilone would reenlist and tragically lose his life on the first day of the Iwo Jima invasion.

New Mexico: Hiroshi Miyamura
> Rank: Corporal
> War during which medal was earned: Korean War
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 9 — 8th fewest

On the night of April 24, 1951, Cpl. Hiroshi Miyamura, of Company H engaged the enemy in close combat. Despite dwindling ammunition and severe injuries, he stood firm, ensuring his squad’s safe withdrawal. Miyamura subsequently operated a second gun and single-handedly held his position against a large number of enemy soldiers. He is credited with taking out more than 50 enemy soldiers.

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New York: William Bradford Turner
> Rank: First Lieutenant
> War during which medal was earned: World War I
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 672 — the most

First Lt. William Bradford Turner led a small detachment separated from the main company during an attack under heavy fire. He single-handedly neutralized an enemy machine gun crew using his pistol, then advanced to a second post, disabling it with his group’s assistance. Despite being wounded three times, he led his men across three enemy trenches, taking down everyone in his path. After running out of pistol ammunition, he picked up a fallen soldier’s rifle and took out another machine gun crew. Upon reaching the fourth trench, their objective, Turner and his nine remaining men captured it, holding their position until they were eventually surrounded and Turner lost his life.

North Carolina: Bryant Homer Womack
> Rank: Private
> War during which medal was earned: Korean War
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 20 — 17th fewest

Pfc. Bryant Homer Womack served as the sole medical aid on a night patrol when a larger enemy force attacked, causing multiple casualties. Despite sustaining serious injuries from enemy fire, Womack prioritized treating his comrades. Struck by enemy mortar, he lost his right arm but continued instructing others in first-aid, refusing help for himself. He was the last to withdraw, collapsing from blood loss and losing his life while being carried by his comrades.

North Dakota: Woodrow Wilson Keeble
> Rank: Master Sergeant
> War during which medal was earned: Korean War
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 17 — 14th fewest

Master Sgt. Woodrow W. Keeble, acting platoon leader in Company G, 19th Infantry, participated in an attack on Hill 765 near Sangsan-ni, Korea, on Oct. 20, 1951. In the face of heavy enemy fire from fortified positions, Keeble individually neutralized three enemy emplacements using grenades. Despite incoming enemy fire and grenades, he continued to advance and provide accurate fire against nearby trenches. His actions helped Company G successfully advance and capture their objective.

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Ohio: Charles Joseph Berry
> Rank: Corporal
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Marine Corps
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 254 — 4th most

On March 3, 1945, during the Iwo Jima invasion, Cpl. Charles Joseph Berry was serving with the 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division. At the front lines, the Japanese attacked at midnight. In a hand-grenade exchange, an enemy grenade landed in his foxhole. Berry dove onto the grenade, absorbing the explosion, which resulted in severe injuries to himself but protected his fellow marines.

Oklahoma: Bennie G Adkins
> Rank: Sergeant First Class
> War during which medal was earned: Vietnam War
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 22 — 19th fewest

During combat operations at Camp A Shau, Vietnam, from March 9 to 12, 1966, Sgt. 1st Class Bennie G. Adkins operated a mortar position, aided wounded soldiers, retrieved supplies, and evaded enemy forces — all while sustaining 18 different wounds. It is estimated he was responsible for the deaths of between 135 and 175 enemy combatants, using machine guns, recoilless rifles, small arms, mortars, and hand grenades.

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Oregon: Arthur Junior Jackson
> Rank: Private First Class
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Marine Corps
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 13 — 12th fewest

On Sept. 18, 1944, Pfc. Arthur Junior Jackson was serving with the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, against Japanese forces on Peleliu. Under intense enemy fire, he advanced ahead of American lines, blowing up a large pillbox housing about 35 Japanese soldiers using explosives and grenades. Undeterred by the continuous fire, he then proceeded to take out two smaller positions nearby. He is credited for taking out 12 pillboxes and 50 enemy soldiers.

Pennsylvania: Robert Earl Laws
> Rank: Staff Sergeant
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 380 — 2nd most

Staff Sgt. Robert Earl Laws led an assault squad from Company G against a well-armed Japanese infantry on a hill. Despite a narrow 70-yard ridge and enemy fire, Laws reached and disabled an enemy pillbox with grenades. Even after sustaining injuries from enemy grenades and TNT, he continued to lead an attack against enemy riflemen. In a physical altercation with an enemy soldier, Laws ended up with a gash on his head. He was given first aid and evacuated, while his squad completed the mission.

Rhode Island: David Bernard Champagne
> Rank: Corporal
> War during which medal was earned: Korean War
> Military branch: U.S. Marine Corps
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 31 — 25th fewest

Cpl. David Bernard Champagne acted as a fire team leader for Company A, advancing against a heavily defended hill. Despite being injured, he remained with his team, refusing evacuation. Amidst an intensified counterattack, he intercepted a hostile grenade, causing loss of his hand and his displacement from the trench. He was subsequently fatally wounded by enemy mortar fire. His actions likely saved several marines.

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South Carolina: William Kyle Carpenter
> Rank: Lance Corporal
> War during which medal was earned: War On Terrorism (Afghanistan)
> Military branch: U.S. Marine Corps
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 32 — 24th most

On Nov. 21, 2010, Lance Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter, an automatic rifleman with Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, was stationed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, for Operation Enduring Freedom. His platoon, a coalition force that included two Marine squads and an Afghan National Army squad, had established Patrol Base Dakota in the Marjah District. During a daylight attack, a grenade landed in Carpenter’s sandbagged position. He moved toward the grenade, severely injuring himself in the blast, but his actions prevented injury to a fellow Marine.

South Dakota: Arlo Laverne Olson
> Rank: Captain
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 3 — 3rd fewest

On Oct. 13, 1943, Capt. Arlo Laverne Olson led a 30-mile advance through enemy territory. Undeterred by point-blank gunfire, he navigated a raging river, neutralized enemy positions, and led his company to the opposite bank. Over 13 days, he spearheaded combat patrols, maintained constant contact with the enemy, and led an audacious attack on a fortified position. Despite being mortally wounded, he ensured his men were strategically positioned before accepting medical aid.

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Tennessee: Alvin Cullium York
> Rank: Corporal
> War during which medal was earned: World War I
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 32 — 23rd most

Prior to his military service, Sgt. Alvin York was known in his hometown of Pall Mall, Tennessee, for his skills as a marksman, honed through hunting to support his family. Despite initial reservations due to his religious beliefs, he served in the U.S. Army during WWI and was instrumental in capturing 132 German soldiers in October 1918. At one point, he faced and took down a group of five Germans and was left unscathed. After the war, York used his fame and funds from a movie about his life to educate youth in his home community.

Texas: Roy Perez Benavidez
> Rank: Staff Sergeant
> War during which medal was earned: Vietnam War
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 76 — 11th most

On May 2, 1968, while Staff Sgt. Roy P. Benavidez was in Loc Ninh, Vietnam, a 12-man special forces team requested extraction after meeting heavy resistance, but the helicopters also met heavy fire and returned to base. Benavidez boarded a returning aircraft to assist in the extraction. Despite being wounded repeatedly, he facilitated the extraction of the team, secured classified documents, provided medical aid, and coordinated air strikes. His actions resulted in the safe return of eight men.

Utah: George Taro “Joe” Sakato
> Rank: Private
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 5 — 6th fewest

In October 1944, on hill 617 near Biffontaine, France, Pvt. George T. Sakato led a successful charge against enemy strongpoints under heavy enemy fire, inspiring his platoon with his courage and relentless tactics. He personally, using a P-38 pistol and an enemy rifle, neutralized multiple German strong points, dispatching 12 enemies, wounding two, and capturing four, as he aided his platoon in taking numerous prisoners. His actions turned a potential defeat into a victory.

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Vermont: Lawson Paterson “Red” Ramage
> Rank: Commander
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Navy
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 47 — 18th most

Submarine Cmdr. Lawson Paterson Ramage, while leading the USS. Parche on July 31, 1944, executed a daring pre-dawn assault on a heavily guarded Japanese convoy. He penetrated the convoy’s defenses, inflicted severe damage on several vessels, and caused chaos amid the enemy’s ranks. Despite facing intense enemy fire, he skillfully navigated his submarine clear of a potential collision with an incoming transport, all while managing to land decisive hits on it. This relentless 46-minute encounter concluded with the Parche and its crew victorious and unscathed, while sinking four ships.

Virginia: Desmond Thomas Doss
> Rank: Private First Class
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 50 — 17th most

Pvt. 1st Class Desmond Thomas Doss, a devout Seventh-Day Adventist, was a conscientious objector who refused to carry a rifle. During the 1st Battalion’s attack on a 400-foot escarpment, Doss, a company aidman, stayed amid heavy artillery and gunfire to help injured soldiers, even when others retreated. He at one point rescued 75 injured men by lowering them from the escarpment. His actions were captured in the film “Hacksaw Ridge.”

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Washington: Robert Eugene Bush
> Rank: Hospital Apprentice First Class
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Naval Reserve Force
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 31 — 25th most

On May 2, 1945, during conflict with Japanese forces on Okinawa Jima, Hospital Apprentice 1st Class Robert Eugene Bush tended to the wounded in the midst of enemy machine gun, mortar, and artillery fire. During a fierce counterattack, despite losing an eye and being seriously wounded, he managed to hold off the enemy, taking down six combatants and safeguarding a wounded marine officer. Ignoring his own critical condition, he prioritized others’ care over his own.

West Virginia: Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams
> Rank: Corporal
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 45 — 20th most

On Feb. 23, 1945, demolition sergeant Cpl. Hershel Woodrow Williams served with the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division, on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands. Volunteering his services, he worked for four hours under high enemy fire to clear a path for infantry through concrete pillboxes, mines, and volcanic sands. He repeatedly returned to his lines to prepare demolition charges and service flamethrowers, which he used to take out enemy positions. This effort contributed significantly to his company reaching its objective.

Wisconsin: Richard Ira Bong
> Rank: Major
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army Air Corps
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 50 — 16th most

Maj. Richard Ira Bong, also known as the “Ace of Aces,” was a top American fighter pilot during WWII, credited with downing 40 enemy aircraft. His remarkable achievement marks him as one of the most successful pilots of his time. In 1944, he was awarded the Medal of Honor by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, a fellow medal recipient whose medal is also attributed to Wisconsin.

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Wyoming: Vernon Joseph Baker
> Rank: First Lieutenant
> War during which medal was earned: World War II
> Military branch: U.S. Army
> Medal of honor recipients attributed to state: 3 — 4th fewest

First Lt. Vernon J. Baker led his platoon towards Castle Aghinolfi, a German stronghold, on April 5 and 6, 1945. He neutralized two observation post occupants and a machine gun crew, forcing a concealed dugout’s occupants to surrender. Amidst heavy enemy fire, he covered the withdrawal of injured soldiers and eliminated three machine gun positions, an observation post, and a dugout. Baker led a battalion advance through enemy territory the following night. His actions accounted for nine dispatched enemy soldiers and the dismantling of significant enemy positions.

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