Lee R. Hartell

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Lee R. Hartell
Lee R Hartell.jpg
Medal of Honor recipient Lee Hartell
Born (1923-08-23)August 23, 1923
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died August 27, 1951(1951-08-27) (aged 28)
Near Kobangsan-ni, Korea
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1940 - 1951
Rank First Lieutenant
Unit Battery A, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2d Infantry Division
Battles/wars

World War II

Korean War
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Lee Ross Hartell (August 23, 1923 – August 27, 1951) was a soldier in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions on August 27, 1951. He joined the Army from Danbury, Connecticut in 1949.[1]

By August 26, 1951, First Lieutenant Hartell was on the ground as a forward observer with B Company, 9th Infantry Regiment at the base of Hill 700 near Kobanson-ni. Hill 700 was attacked and taken by B Company that day. But the Chinese mounted a major counterattack at 0400 hours. Hartell walked the artillery fire right up the hill on top of the charging enemy. Although many of the enemy were cut down, they just kept coming. Although wounded, he kept calling in artillery fire onto his hilltop. Finally at 0630 hours, Hartell was hit in the chest by a bullet and his phone went dead.

Military service[edit]

Lee enlisted in the Connecticut National Guard on June 20, 1940 in the 192nd Field Artillery Battalion. He transferred to active duty on September 22, 1942 and was wounded in action in the South Pacific on June 19, 1943. He then transferred to Battery C of the 31st Battalion, 8th Field Artillery training regiment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and was discharged from active duty on July 1, 1945. He was discharged from the Connecticut National Guard the following day.

On August 8, 1946, he rejoined the Connecticut National Guard as a Second Lieutenant and served as an artillery officer with the 963rd Field Artillery battalion. He was then discharged from the National Guard on January 12, 1948 to enter active duty service. He was deployed to Korea as part of Battery A, 15th Artillery Battalion of the 2nd Infantry Division. He was killed in action on August 27, 1951.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Battery A, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2d Infantry Division

Place and date: Near Kobangsan-ni, Korea, August 27, 1951

Entered service at: Danbury, Conn. Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

G.O. No.: 16, February 1, 1952.

Citation:

1st. Lt. Hartell, a member of Battery A, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations. During the darkness of early morning, the enemy launched a ruthless attack against friendly positions on a rugged mountainous ridge. 1st Lt. Hartell, attached to Company B, 9th Infantry Regiment, as forward observer, quickly moved his radio to an exposed vantage on the ridge line to adjust defensive fires. Realizing the tactical advantage of illuminating the area of approach, he called for flares and then directed crippling fire into the onrushing assailants. At this juncture a large force of hostile troops swarmed up the slope in banzai charge and came within 10 yards of 1st Lt. Hartell's position. 1st Lt. Hartell sustained a severe hand wound in the ensuing encounter but grasped the microphone with his other hand and maintained his magnificent stand until the front and left flank of the company were protected by a close-in wall of withering fire, causing the fanatical foe to disperse and fall back momentarily. After the numerically superior enemy overran an outpost and was closing on his position, 1st Lt. Hartell, in a final radio call, urged the friendly elements to fire both batteries continuously. Although mortally wounded, 1st Lt. Hartell's intrepid actions contributed significantly to stemming the onslaught and enabled his company to maintain the strategic strongpoint. His consummate valor and unwavering devotion to duty reflect lasting glory on himself and uphold the noble traditions of the military service.[2]

Legacy[edit]

One of the main roads at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, was renamed Hartell Boulevard in his honor.[3] The Connecticut Army National Guard has named its training installation in Windsor Locks Camp Hartell in his honor. Camp Hartell, 7th Inf. Div, 179th Artillery near Munsani, Korea, is also named in his honor. He had been a resident of Danbury and Lee Hartell Drive in Danbury was posthumously named in his honor. The "Hartell House" is a general officers mess named in his honor which has proudly served the Commanding Generals of United Nations Command, ROK/US Combined Forces Command, United States Forces Korea, and Eighth U.S. Army. He is commemorated by a memorial on the front lawn of the Danbury War Memorial building at the corner of South Street and Memorial Drive.[4] Lee Hartell Chapter 25 of the Disabled American Veterans in Danbury is named for him.[5] He was laid to rest at St. Peter's Cemetery in Danbury.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Service Profile
  2. ^ ""LEE R. HARTELL" entry". Medal of Honor recipients: Korean War. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved 2007-12-31. 
  3. ^ Korean War 15th Field Artillery Regiment URL retrieved December 16, 2006
  4. ^ "Monuments". Danbury War Memorial. Danbury War Memorial. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "DAV Lee Hartell Chapter 25". Facebook. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 

References[edit]

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