Harold Wilson

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Harold Edward Wilson (born December 5, 1921 in Birmingham; died March 29, 1998 in Lexington, South Carolina) was a Chief Warrant Officer in the U.S. Marine Corps who earned a Medal of Honor for heroism during his service in the Korean War in 1951.

Wilson grew up in Birmingham and attended public schools. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve and was assigned to active duty on April 20, 1942. During World War II, he served was stationed on Midway Island for 27 months. He was honorably discharged on October 20, 1945 with the rank of sergeant.

Wilson re-entered the Marine Corps Reserve in Birmingham in 1947 and was recalled to active duty in August 1950 for service in the Korean War. He was assigned to Company G, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, and participated in the Wonsan landing. He later fought in the Chosin Reservoir campaign and in the first United Nations counteroffensive.

During that campaign, Wilson was serving as platoon sergeant of a rifle platoon. In March 1951 he earned a Bronze Star for his "fearless and untiring leadership". He was wounded during an overnight battle on April 23, but refused medical treatment. With his arms virtually disabled, he passed ammunition between entrenchments and rallied his men to perservere against an onslaught of Communist attackers. The next morning, after checking on the safety of his men, he walked a half mile unassisted to an aid station, from which he was evacuated to Japan's Yokosuka Naval Hospital. President Truman awarded him the Medal of Honor at the White House on April 11, 1952.

Wilson was also awarded a meritorious promotion to master sergeant in June 1951 and commissioned a Warrant Officer in August 1952. In December 1962, he assumed the post of Adjutant at the Marine Corps Engineer Schools at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville North Carolina. That December he was assigned to Force Troops, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, serving as Adjutant and Personnel Officer of the 2nd Tank Battalion.

During the Vietnam War, Wilson served with Marine Aircraft Group 13, and was later assigned District Personnel Officer for the as 6th Marine Corps in November 1968. He retired from the Corps in February 1972 and died in 1998. He is buried at Woodridge Memorial Park in Lexington, South Carolina.

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