Elbert L. Kinser
|Elbert Luther Kinser|
Elbert L. Kinser, Medal of Honor recipient
October 21, 1922|
|Died||May 4, 1945
KIA on Okinawa
|Place of burial||initially the 1st Marine Division Cemetery on Okinawa
later Solomon Lutheran Cemetery Greeneville, Tennessee
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1942-1945|
|Unit||3rd Battalion, 1st Marines|
|Battles/wars||World War II
*Battle of Okinawa
|Awards||Medal of Honor
Sergeant Elbert Luther Kinser (October 21, 1922 - May 4, 1945) was a United States Marine who received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions and sacrifice of his life on Okinawa during World War II. The Medal of Honor was presented to Sgt Kinser's parents by MajGen Clifton B. Cates (future Commandant of the Marine Corps) on July 4, 1946 in Greeneville, Tennessee.
Elbert Kinser was born in Greeneville, Tennessee on October 21, 1922. He worked on his father's farm prior to joining the Marine Corps.
Marine Corps service
He sailed from the United States in March 1943, and joined the 7th Replacement Battalion in Pago Pago, Tutuila, American Samoa. Later, that battalion joined the 1st Marine Division in Melbourne, Australia, and Sgt Kinser was assigned to Company I, 1st Marines.
On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, Sgt Kinser landed with his unit at Okinawa. Sergeant Kinser won the nation's highest military decoration while acting as a leader of a rifle platoon, serving with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, in action on Okinawa, where he was subsequently killed in action on May 4, 1945.
During a fierce hand grenade battle, a Japanese grenade landed in the immediate vicinity, Sgt Kinser unhesitatingly threw himself on the deadly missile, absorbing the full charge of the shattering explosion in his own body and thereby protecting his men from serious injury and possible death.
Sergeant Kinser was buried in the 1st Marine Division Cemetery on Okinawa and his remains were returned to the United States in early 1949 for burial. His final resting place is the Solomon Lutheran Cemetery in Greeneville, Tennessee.
Camp Kinser, a Marine Corps installation at Urasoe, Okinawa, Japan, was named in honor of Sergeant Elbert L. Kinser.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Sgt Kinser was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart; Presidential Unit Citation; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.
|Medal of Honor||Purple Heart|
|Presidential Unit Citation||Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal||World War II Victory Medal|
Medal of Honor citation
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
SERGEANT ELBERT L. KINSER
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while acting as Leader of a Rifle Platoon, serving with Company I, Third Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division, in action against Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryūkyū Chain, May 4, 1945. Taken under sudden, close attack by hostile troops entrenched on the reverse slope while moving up a strategic ridge along which his platoon was holding newly won positions, Sergeant Kinser engaged the enemy in a fierce hand grenade battle. Quick to act when a Japanese grenade landed in the immediate vicinity, Sergeant Kinser unhesitatingly threw himself on the deadly missile, absorbing the full charge of the shattering explosion in his own body and thereby protecting his men from serious injury and possible death. Stouthearted and indomitable, he had yielded his own chance of survival that his comrades might live to carry on the relentless battle against a fanatic enemy. His courage, cool decision and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
/S/ HARRY S. TRUMAN
In Kinser's home County of Greene County, Tennessee there are several things named in his honor. In Greeneville, Tennessee in downtown there is a historical marker, south of Greeneville there is Kinser Park and in the city of Tusculum a bridge over the Nolichucky River on Tennessee State Route 107 is named in his honor.
- "Solomon Lutheran Cemetery". The Tombstone Transcription Project.
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
- "Sergeant Elbert Luther Kinser, Who's Who in Marine Corps History, History Division, United States Marine Corps.". Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- "Sgt Elbert L. Kinser, Medal of Honor, 1945, 3/5/1, Okinawa, Medal of Honor citation". Retrieved September 29, 2010.[dead link]
- "Elbert L. Kinser". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved 2007-01-07.