PUEBLO, Colo. — March 25th has been designated as National Medal of Honor Day, a day dedicated to Medal of Honor recipients.
Pueblo is the hometown of four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients: William J. Crawford; Carl L. Sitter; Raymond G. “Jerry” Murphy; and Drew D. Dix.
In 1993, Colorado Representative Scott McInnis had read into the Congressional Record information about Pueblo and its recipients of the Medal of Honor. He cited that it was the only city to have this record of four living recipients from the same hometown. Following that declaration in the Congressional Record, the Pueblo City Council adopted the “Home of Heroes” theme.
Crawford was a United States Army soldier who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War II. On September 13, 1943, he was serving as a private with the 142nd Infantry Regiment 36th Infantry Division in southern Italy when his company attacked Hill 424 near Altavilla Silentina. During the battle, Crawford twice moved forward through continuous fire and, using hand grenades and his rifle, destroyed machine gun nests that were holding back his platoon’s advance. Army leaders believed Crawford died during the assault, so the Medal of Honor was presented posthumously to his father. However, it turns out Crawford had just been captured by the enemy and was among a group of soldiers rescued from German captivity.
After retirement from the military, he became a janitor at the United States Air Force Academy. In 1984, Crawford was officially presented the medal of honor during a ceremony at the academy. Crawford died on March 15, 2000.
Carl L. Sitter:
Carl Sitter was a recipient of the Korean War Medal of Honor recipient for his actions during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. In the bitter fighting between the Chinese and the surrounded US forces near the Chosin Reservoir in November 1950, Captain Sitter was wounded by hand grenades but continued to lead his men until he repulsed a counterattack.
Raymond G. “Jerry” Murphy
2nd Lieutenant Raymond “Jerry” Murphy was the 3rd platoon leader with the assignment of evacuation during the raid for the Ungok hill mass in Korea. His Medal of Honor citation reads in part, “Murphy refused medical aid and continued to lead his men up a hill through a withering barrage of hostile mortar and small-arms fire, skillfully maneuvering his force from one position to the next and shouting words of encouragement. Undeterred by the increasingly intense enemy fire, he immediately located casualties as they fell and made several trips up and down the fire-swept hill to direct evacuation teams to the wounded, personally carrying many of the stricken Marines to safety.”
Murphy died on April 6, 2007, in the Veterans Administration Nursing Home in Pueblo at the age of 77.
Drew D. Dix
Drew Dix is the first enlisted Green Beret to have been awarded the Medal of Honor.
On January 31, 1968, Viet Cong forces attacked Chau Phu in the first days of the Tet Offensive. Dix was a staff sergeant at the time and led groups of local fighters in efforts to rescue endangered civilians and driving Viet Cong forces out of buildings in the city of Chau Phu, South Vietnam.