List of Medal of Honor recipients educated at the United States Military Academy

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The oldest Medal of Honor recipient educated at the United States Military Academy was John Cleveland Robinson, a non-graduating member of the class of 1839. The first alumnus of the United States Military Academy (USMA) to perform actions to be recognized with the Medal of Honor was Charles Henry Tompkins, a non-graduating member of the class of 1851, while the last alumnus to perform actions so recognized was Andre Lucas, a graduating member of the class of 1954.

There are ten wars involving the United States for which the Medal of Honor has been bestowed upon a USMA alumnus. More than half of the alumni who received the distinction were thereby recognized for actions in either the American Civil War or the American Indian Wars; twenty-five alumni were awarded the medal in connection with the Civil War and twenty-one in connection with the Indian Wars. Four alumni were recognized for their contributions to the Spanish–American War, nine for the Philippine–American War, two for the Boxer Rebellion, and one for the Banana Wars. While only one alumnus received the Medal of Honor for actions in World War I, ten alumni were so recognized for actions in World War II. The final two conflicts for which the Medal of Honor was given to USMA alumni are the Korean War, for which two alumni were recognized, and the Vietnam War, for which eight alumni were recognized.

Of the eighty-three USMA alumni who have received the Medal of Honor, eight were non-graduates: John Cleveland Robinson, Charles Henry Tompkins, John Alexander Logan, Jr., Louis J. Van Schaick, Eli Thompson Fryer, Michael J. Daly, Roger Donlon, and James A. Gardner. Two graduates, John Gregory Bourke (class of 1869) and Calvin Pearl Titus (class of 1905), received the Medal of Honor before being appointed to the Academy.[1] Other notable Academy alumni who received the Medal of Honor include William Harding Carter, Douglas MacArthur, and Humbert Roque Versace.

Medal of Honor recipients[edit]

Note: "Class year" refers to the alumnus's class year, which usually is the same year they graduated. However, in times of war, classes often graduate early.
'ex' after the class year indicates the alumni is a non-graduating member of that class.

American Civil War[edit]

All of the USMA alumni who received the Medal of Honor for action in the American Civil War were part of the Union Army fighting against the Confederate States Army to undo the secession of the Confederate States of America. The Civil War was the first war for which the Medal of Honor was granted,[2] and more USMA alumni received this honor for participation in the Civil War than for any other conflict. Of the 3464 American Civil War Medal of Honor recipients, 25 attended USMA.

Name Class year Notability References
Robinson, John ClevelandJohn Cleveland Robinson 1839 ex Left the Academy after three years but joined the Army one year later; Major General in the American Civil War; awarded the MOH for valor in action in 1864 near Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia; Lieutenant Governor of New York (1873–1874); served two terms as the president of the Grand Army of the Republic [3][4]
Hatch, John PorterJohn Porter Hatch 1845 Major General; fought in the Mexican War where he was breveted twice for bravery in battle; awarded the MOH for bravery at the Battle of South Mountain during the Maryland Campaign where he was wounded and had two mounts shot from underneath him; later served on the western frontier; retired to New York City and was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1893 [5][6]
Willcox, Orlando B.Orlando B. Willcox 1847 Major General; awarded the MOH in 1895 for gallantry at the First Battle of Bull Run where he was captured; later released as part of a prisoner exchange and served in the Virginia and North Carolina theaters at the end of the war [3][7]
Baird, AbsalomAbsalom Baird 1849 Major General; attended Washington & Jefferson College before graduating from West Point; earned fame for actions at the Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and Jonesborough; received the MOH in 1896 for his actions at Jonesborough; later received the French Légion d'honneur [5][8]
Saxton, RufusRufus Saxton 1849 Major General; recipient of the MOH for his defense at the Battle of Harpers Ferry; participated in the Pacific Railroad surveys in 1853; early abolitionist [3][9]
Carr, Eugene AsaEugene Asa Carr 1850 Major General; recipient of the MOH for his defensive though wounded several times at the Battle of Pea Ridge [5][10]
Tompkins, Charles HenryCharles Henry Tompkins 1851 ex Dropped out of the Academy after two years for unspecified reasons; Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for twice charging through the enemy's lines on 1 July 1861 near Fairfax, Virginia, making him the first Union officer of the Civil War to receive the Medal of Honor [3][11]
Stanley, David S.David S. Stanley 1852 Major General; recipient of the MOH for his actions organizing a counterattack at the Second Battle of Franklin, commander of the IV Corps [3][9]
Schofield, JohnJohn Schofield 1853 Lieutenant General; recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions leading an attack at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, Atlanta Campaign, Battle of Franklin, Battle of Nashville, Battle of Wyse Fork; commander of the Army of the Frontier, division commander in the XIV Corps; United States Secretary of War (1868–1869); Superintendent of the Academy (1876–1881); Commanding General of the United States Army (1888–1895); Military Governor of Virginia [3][10]
Bliss, ZenasZenas Bliss 1854 Major General; recipient of the MOH for his actions at the Battle of Fredericksburg; formed the first unit of Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts [5][12]
Greene, Oliver DuffOliver Duff Greene 1854 Colonel; recipient of the MOH for his actions at the Battle of Antietam [5][13]
Howard, Oliver OtisOliver Otis Howard 1854 Major General; recipient of the MOH for his actions leading an attack at the Battle of Seven Pines despite wound which resulted in the loss of his right arm; led the campaign against Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce tribe; founder of Howard University; Superintendent of the Academy (1881–1882) [5][14]
Webb, Alexander S.Alexander S. Webb 1855 Major General; recipient of the MOH for his actions at the Battle of Gettysburg for personal bravery and leadership repulsing Pickett's Charge; president of the City College of New York (1869–1902) [3][15]
Arnold, AbrahamAbraham Arnold 1859 Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for leading a cavalry charge against superior forces [5][16]
Porter, HoraceHorace Porter 1860 Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for his actions at the Battle of Chickamauga; United States Ambassador to France (1897–1905) [3][17]
Wilson, John MoulderJohn Moulder Wilson 1860 Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for his actions at the Battle of Malvern Hill despite acute illness; Superintendent of the Academy (1889–1893); Chief of Engineers (1897–1901) [3][18]
Ames, AdelbertAdelbert Ames 1861 (May) Major General; recipient of the MOH for his for continuing a fierce fight though severely wounded in his right thigh at First Battle of Bull Run; Governor of Mississippi (1868–1870) and (1874–1876); United States Senator from Mississippi (1870–1874) [5][19]
Beaumont, Eugene B.Eugene B. Beaumont 1861 (May) Lieutenant Colonel; recipient of the MOH for two separate actions at the Harpeth River in Tennessee and the Battle of Selma in Alabama [5][20]
Benjamin, Samuel NichollSamuel Nicholl Benjamin 1861 (May) Major; recipient of the MOH for actions as an artillery officer [5][21]
du Pont, Henry AlgernonHenry Algernon du Pont 1861 (May) Lieutenant Colonel; recipient of the MOH for actions repulsing an enemy attack at the Battle of Cedar Creek; United States Senator from Delaware (1906–1917) [5][22]
Henry, Guy VernorGuy Vernor Henry 1861 (May) Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for actions repulsing an enemy attack at the Battle of Cold Harbor; son Major General Guy Vernor Henry Jr. is an Academy alumnus, class of 1894; Governor of Puerto Rico (1898–1899) [5][23]
Cushing, AlonzoAlonzo Cushing 1861 (June) First Lieutenant; posthumous recipient of the MOH for actions at Cemetery Ridge during the Battle of Gettysburg; his medal was not awarded until over 150 years after his death.
Gillespie, Jr., George LewisGeorge Lewis Gillespie, Jr. 1862 Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for carrying dispatches under withering fire at the Battle of Cold Harbor; Chief of Engineers (1901–1904) [5][18]
Beebe, William SullyWilliam Sully Beebe 1863 Major; recipient of the MOH for actions during an assault on a fortified position [5][24]
Benyaurd, William Henry HarrisonWilliam Henry Harrison Benyaurd 1863 Lieutenant Colonel; recipient of the MOH for actions during reconnaissance and rallying his troops [5][25]
Bourke, John GregoryJohn Gregory Bourke 1869 Captain at time of retirement, Private at the time of the Medal of Honor action; recipient of the MOH for gallantry in action at the Battle of Stones River, Tennessee; prolific diarist and author focusing on the Old West [5][26]
Absalom Baird
Charles Henry Tompkins
Oliver Howard
Alexander Webb
Adelbert Ames
John Bourke

American Indian Wars[edit]

The USMA alumni receiving the Medal of Honor for their efforts in the American Indian Wars fought against the Native Americans in the United States in order to expand the territory controlled by American settlers and the federal government of the United States. Among the American Indian Wars Medal of Honor recipients, 21 were USMA alumni.

Name Class year Notability References
Godfrey, Edward SettleEdward Settle Godfrey 1867 Brigadier General; a Private during the Civil War before attending West Point; received the MOH for leading his men against Chief Joseph despite being severely wounded; led two platoons of Medal of Honor men at the burial of the Unknown Soldier from World War I [27][28]
Hall, William PrebleWilliam Preble Hall 1868 Brigadier General; received the MOH for leading a small group to rescue an officer surrounded by 35 enemy; distinguished marksman with rifle and revolver [27][29]
Carter, Robert GoldthwaiteRobert Goldthwaite Carter 1870 First Lieutenant; an enlisted soldier during the Civil War before attending West Point; received the MOH for repulsing the charge of a large hostile Indian force near the Brazos River in 1871 [27][30]
Kerr, John BrownJohn Brown Kerr 1870 Brigadier General; received the MOH for actions against Brule Sioux along the White River, South Dakota [27][31]
McClernand, Edward JohnEdward John McClernand 1870 Brigadier General; received the MOH for actions at Bear Paw Mountain, Montana in 1877 against Chief Joseph's tribe [27][32]
Varnum, CharlesCharles Varnum 1872 Colonel; commander of the scouts for George Armstrong Custer in the Little Bighorn Campaign during the Black Hills War; recipient of the MOH for his actions in a conflict following the Battle of Wounded Knee [27][33]
West, FrankFrank West 1872 Colonel; recipient of the MOH for rallying his men against a fortified position at the Battle of Big Dry Wash, Arizona, for which three other men also received the Medal of Honor: Thomas Cruse, George H. Morgan, and Charles Taylor [27][34]
Carter, William HardingWilliam Harding Carter 1873 Major General; recipient of the MOH for rescuing two soldiers under heavy fire during the Comanche Campaign [27][35]
Maus, Marion PerryMarion Perry Maus 1874 Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for actions while commander of Apache scouts in the capture of Geronimo [27][36]
Garlington, Ernest AlbertErnest Albert Garlington 1876 Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for gallantry at the Battle of Wounded Knee [27][37]
Gresham, John ChowningJohn Chowning Gresham 1876 Colonel; recipient of the MOH for gallantry at the Battle of Wounded Knee [27][38]
Long, Oscar FitzalanOscar Fitzalan Long 1876 Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for leadership under heavy fire at Bear Paw Mountain, Montana [27][39]
Day, Matthias W.Matthias W. Day 1877 Colonel; recipient of the MOH for rescuing a wounded soldier under heavy fire after being ordered to retreat; member of the 9th Cavalry Regiment of the Buffalo Soldiers [27][40]
Emmet, Robert TempleRobert Temple Emmet 1877 Colonel; recipient of the MOH for holding off 200 enemies with only himself and five men despite being surrounded; member of the 9th Cavalry Regiment of the Buffalo Soldiers [27][41]
Wilder, Wilber ElliottWilber Elliott Wilder 1877 Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for rescuing a wounded soldier under heavy fire; key figure in negotiating the surrender of the Apache chief Geronimo [27][42]
Brett, Lloyd MiltonLloyd Milton Brett 1879 Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for fearless exposure in cutting off the enemy's pony herd at O'Fallon's Creek, Montana, which greatly crippled their ability to fight [27][43]
Cruse, ThomasThomas Cruse 1879 Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for holding off the enemy, which enabled the rescue of wounded soldier at the Battle of Big Dry Wash, Arizona, for which three other men also received the Medal of Honor: Frank West, George H. Morgan, and Charles Taylor [27][44]
Burnett, George RitterGeorge Ritter Burnett 1880 First Lieutenant; recipient of the MOH for rescuing stranded men under heavy enemy fire; one of his men, Augustus Walley, also received the Medal of Honor for this action, both members of the 9th Cavalry Regiment of the Buffalo Soldiers [27][45]
Morgan, George HoraceGeorge Horace Morgan 1880 Colonel; recipient of the MOH for steadfastly holding his line against the enemy at the Battle of Big Dry Wash, Arizona, for which three other men also received the Medal of Honor: Thomas Cruse, Frank West, and Charles Taylor [27][46]
Clarke, Powhatan HenryPowhatan Henry Clarke 1884 First Lieutenant; recipient of the MOH for saving a wounded man under heavy fire; later drowned while rescuing another man [27][47]
Howze, Robert LeeRobert Lee Howze 1888 Major General; recipient of the MOH for bravery in action; once threatened to dismiss an entire class of plebes (freshmen) from the Academy for hazing; presided over the court-martial of Brigadier General Billy Mitchell [27][48]
William Carter
Oscar Long
Matthias Day
Powhatan Clarke wearing his Medal of Honor
Robert Howze

Spanish–American War[edit]

The Medal of Honor was given to Americans who fought in the Spanish–American War against Spain under the Restoration during the Cuban War of Independence. Four USMA alumni were among the Spanish–American War Medal of Honor recipients.

Name Class year Notability References
Mills, Albert LeopoldAlbert Leopold Mills 1879 Major General; recipient of the MOH for continuing to lead his men at the Battle of San Juan Hill despite being shot in the head and temporarily blinded; Superintendent of the Academy (1898–1906) [49][50]
Heard, John WilliamJohn William Heard 1883 Major General; recipient of the MOH for repulsing an attack by a larger force while his unit was unloading supplies from a river boat [49][51]
Roberts, Charles DuValCharles DuVal Roberts 1897 Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for assisting a wounded man under heavy fire [49][52]
Welborn, Ira ClintonIra Clinton Welborn 1898 Colonel; recipient of the MOH for assisting a wounded man under heavy fire [49][53]
Albert Mills

Philippine–American War[edit]

USMA alumni who received the Medal of Honor for participating in the Philippine–American War fought against the First Philippine Republic, the Katipunan, the Pulahan, the Sultanate of Sulu, and the Moro people in order to suppress the Philippine Declaration of Independence. Nine USMA alumni were among the 86 men who received the medal for their involvement in this war.

Name Class year Notability References
Birkhimer, William EdwardWilliam Edward Birkhimer 1870 Brigadier General; awarded the MOH for taking control of a bridge by charging and routing 300 of the enemy with 12 men [54][55]
Parker, JamesJames Parker 1876 Major General; awarded the MOH for leadership of his men by repulsing a nighttime attack by a much larger enemy force [54]
Bell, James FranklinJames Franklin Bell 1878 Major General; began his career with the 9th Cavalry Regiment, a black unit; awarded the MOH for attacking seven enemy soldiers alone [54]
McGrath, Hugh J.Hugh J. McGrath 1880 Major; awarded the MOH for actions against the enemy at a cave [54]
Sage, William HampdenWilliam Hampden Sage 1882 Brigadier General; awarded the MOH for swimming the San Juan River in the face of the enemy's fire and drove him from his entrenchment [54]
Logan, Jr., John A.John A. Logan, Jr. 1887 ex Major; awarded the MOH for actions while leading his small unit in an attack against a much larger enemy force [54][56]
Van Schaick, Louis JosephLouis Joseph Van Schaick 1900 ex Colonel; awarded the MOH for cavalry actions against hostile forces in a canyon [54]
Wilson, Arthur HarrisonArthur Harrison Wilson 1904 Colonel; awarded the MOH for actions against hostile Moros [54]
Kennedy, John ThomasJohn Thomas Kennedy 1908 Brigadier General; awarded the MOH for actions against the enemy at a cave [54]
James Franklin Bell

Boxer Rebellion[edit]

The Medal of Honor was given to two USMA alumni who fought in the Boxer Rebellion in China against the Righteous Harmony Society of the Qing Dynasty in order to defend foreigners and Christians in China. Another 57 Americans received the Medal of Honor for participating in this conflict.

Name Class year Notability References
Lawton, Louis BowemLouis Bowem Lawton 1893 Major; recipient of the MOH for actions in combat despite being wounded three times [57]
Titus, Calvin PearlCalvin Pearl Titus 1905 Lieutenant Colonel at time of retirement, Private at the time of the Medal of Honor action; admitted to the Academy because of his Medal of Honor during the Boxer Rebellion; became a Chaplain's assistant [57][58]

Banana Wars[edit]

Eli Thompson Fryer is the sole USMA alumnus to have received the Medal of Honor for his involvement in the Banana Wars, supporting the United States occupation of Veracruz. All of the 62 other Americans who received the Medal of Honor for fighting in the Banana Wars were involved specifically in the occupation of Veracruz.

Name Class year Notability References
Fryer, Eli ThompsonEli Thompson Fryer 1901 ex Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for actions as a Marine company commander during the occupation of Vera Cruz [59][60]
Eli T. Fryer

World War I[edit]

The United States' involvement in World War I was as a neutral party for most of the war, but included the deployment of expeditionary forces towards the end of the war. Of the 119 Americans who received the Medal of Honor for action in World War I, only one attended USMA: Emory Jenison Pike.

Name Class year Notability References
Pike, Emory JenisonEmory Jenison Pike 1901 Lieutenant Colonel; recipient of the MOH for actions in combat organizing and leading units during heavy shelling despite being mortally wounded [61][62]

World War II[edit]

At the beginning of World War II, the United States was a neutral party just as it was at the beginning of World War I. Unlike in World War I, however, the United States was involved in World War II in a military capacity for most of the war. Ten of the 464 men who received the Medal of Honor for action in World War II were educated at USMA.

Name Class year Notability References
MacArthur, DouglasDouglas MacArthur 1903 General of the Army, Field Marshal in the Philippine Army; United States occupation of Veracruz; Second Battle of the Marne, Battle of Saint-Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne Offensive during World War I; commander of the 42nd Infantry Division; Superintendent of the United States Military Academy (1919–1922); brigade commander in the Philippine Division; commander of the Philippine Department; Chief of Staff of the United States Army (1930–1935); recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions during the Battle of Bataan, commander of the South West Pacific Area during World War II; Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers during the Occupation of Japan; Korean War; grandson of Wisconsin Governor Arthur MacArthur, Sr.; son of Lieutenant General and Medal of Honor recipient Arthur MacArthur, Jr. [63][64]
Wainwright IV, Jonathan MayhewJonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV 1906 General; recipient of the MOH for defense of te Bataan and Corregidor; also noted for leadership while a prisoner of war (POW); present onboard USS Missouri (BB-63) for the surrender of Japan; returned to the Philippines to accept surrender of the local Japanese commander; his father, Robert Powell Page Wainwright, was member of the Academy class of 1875 [65][66]
Wilbur, William H.William H. Wilbur 1912 Brigadier General; recipient of the MOH for actions during the Allied landings in North Africa while attempting to negotiate a cease fire and leading combat actions against hostile forces [65][67]
Craw, Demas T.Demas T. Craw 1924 Colonel, United States Army Air Forces; posthumous recipient of the MOH for ground actions during the Allied landings in North Africa while attempting to negotiate a cease fire [68][69]
Johnson, Leon WilliamLeon William Johnson 1926 General, United States Army Air Corps and United States Air Force; recipient of the MOH for actions in aerial combat during the raid on the Ploesti, Romania oilfields [70][71]
Castle, Frederick WalkerFrederick Walker Castle 1930 Brigadier General, United States Army Air Forces; posthumous recipient of the MOH for actions in aerial combat while leading a bombing mission over Belgium [68][72]
Cole, Robert G.Robert G. Cole 1939 Lieutenant Colonel; 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division; recipient of the MOH for leading his battalion in a bayonet charge at Carentan, France during the Battle of Normandy; later killed in Best, Netherlands [68][73]
Vance, Jr., Leon RobertLeon Robert Vance, Jr. 1939 Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army Air Corps; recipient of the MOH for actions in saving his bomber crew though he was severely wounded; Vance Air Force Base in his hometown of Enid, Oklahoma is named in his honor [65][74]
Nininger, Alexander R.Alexander R. Nininger 1941 Second Lieutenant; recipient of the MOH for actions in Bataan, Philippines while a member of the Philippine Scouts, continued an attack even though wounded three times; first Army soldier awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II; First Division of Cadet Barracks at West Point is named in his honor [63]
Daly, Michael J.Michael J. Daly 1945 ex Captain; dropped out of the Academy after one year to enlist so he could fight in World War II; received a battlefield commission; awarded the MOH for assaulting several enemy positions [68][75]
Two Medal of Honor recipients and friends, MacArthur (l) and Wainwright (r), greet at the end of the war. Wainwright was just released from POW camp
Leon Johnson, at his Medal of Honor ceremony with the medal around his neck

Korean War[edit]

The United States and twenty other member states of the United Nations supported South Korea in repelling an invasion by North Korea and its allies into South Korea. For their involvement, 133 Americans were presented with the Medal of Honor, two of which attended USMA.

Name Class year Notability References
Coursen, Samuel S.Samuel S. Coursen 1949 First Lieutenant; recipient of the MOH for actions while helping rescue a wounded man and eliminating an enemy roadblock [76]
Shea, Jr., Richard ThomasRichard Thomas Shea, Jr. 1952 First Lieutenant; recipient of the MOH for actions while leading a counterattack against a larger enemy force [76]

Vietnam War[edit]

The United States and other anti-communist countries fought against North Vietnam and its communist allies during the Vietnam War in an attempt to prevent the communist takeover of South Vietnam and, more broadly, to implement the United States' policy of containment to prevent the spread of communism. Eight of the 246 men who received the Medal of Honor for fighting in this war attended USMA.

Name Class year Notability References
Jones, III, William AtkinsonWilliam Atkinson Jones, III 1945 Colonel, United States Air Force; recipient of the MOH for actions while helping rescue a downed pilot [77][78]
Lucas, AndreAndre Lucas 1954 Lieutenant Colonel; recipient of the MOH for repulsing a much larger force over a 23-day period [77][79]
Donlon, RogerRoger Donlon 1959 ex Dropped out of the Academy for personal reasons; Captain, later Colonel; recipient of the MOH for repulsing a much larger force [77][80]
Versace, Humbert RoqueHumbert Roque Versace 1959 Captain; recipient of the MOH for his resistance to Viet Cong indoctrination efforts while a prisoner of war (POW); his struggle was chronicled in length by fellow POW Nick Rowe in the book Five Years to Freedom. [81][82]
Reasoner, Frank S.Frank S. Reasoner 1962 First Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps; recipient of the MOH for actions leading reconnaissance patrol against a larger force and trying to save a wounded man [81][83]
Foley, Robert F.Robert F. Foley 1963 Captain, later Lieutenant General; recipient of the MOH for actions on 11 November 1966 for rallying his unit in the face of superior enemy numbers and personally destroying three enemy strongpoints; West Point Commandant of Cadets (1996–1998); later president of Marion Military Institute; currently the director of the Army Emergency Relief Program [77]
Gardner, James A.James A. Gardner 1965 ex Did not graduate; First Lieutenant; recipient of the MOH for actions leading his platoon in the relief of a company that was engaged with a larger enemy force [77]
Bucha, Paul WilliamPaul William Bucha 1965 Captain; recipient of the MOH for actions leading his unit against a larger enemy for in Binh Duong Province, Vietnam; foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign [77][84]
Roger Donlon
Humbert Versace

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
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