My Hero



When I was 9 years old I was given a book called "The Story of the US Marines" by George Hunt. The first and last chapters were about the exploits of 1st Lt John Yancey, a two-time Navy Cross winner (Guadalcanal and Korea) and his platoon in Korea. He was my hero growing up. He was my inspiration for becoming a Marine infantryman. He wasn't your typical college grad Marine officer. He was a mustanger and one tough motherfucker who, for me, epitomized everything a Marine should be...a guy who stuffed his own eyeball back into it's socket and still had the cool to pull his .45 and shoot a Chinese soldier dead.

2nd Award
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to First Lieutenant John Yancey (MCSN: 0-36570), United States Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as a Platoon Leader of Company E, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Korea on 27 and 28 November 1950. With his company subjected to a savage and sustained night attack by an enemy force of approximately two battalions while defending strategic high ground north of Yudam-ni, and with adjacent platoon positions infiltrated by hostile troops, First Lieutenant Yancey bravely rushed into the thick of the fighting in a daring attempt to rally the men and seal the gap in the lines. Although wounded by an enemy bullet which penetrated his cheek and lodged in his neck, he led the Marines through snow and sub-zero temperatures in a fierce hand-to-hand encounter with the hostile force, drove off the attackers and quickly reorganized the unit. Learning that his company commander had been killed, Lieutenant Yancey unhesitatingly assumed command and boldly made his way from one platoon to another in the face of intense enemy fire, shouting words of encouragement to the men, seeking aid for the casualties and directing the defense of the vital terrain. Despite two further wounds sustained during the intensive action, he gallantly refused to be evacuated and continued to lead his company in repelling the hostile attacks until, weakened by loss of blood and no longer able to see, he was forced to accept medical aid. By his inspiring leadership, outstanding courage and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of overwhelming odds, First Lieutenant Yancey was directly instrumental in the successful defense of the area and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: Authority: Board of Awards: Serial 755 (September 11, 1952)
Action Date: November 27 - 28, 1950
Service: Marine Corps Reserve
Rank: First Lieutenant
Company: Company E
Battalion: 2d Battalion
Regiment: 7th Marines
Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.)

First Award
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Corporal John Yancey (MCSN: 335303), United States Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving with Company F, SECOND Marine Raider Battalion in combat against enemy Japanese forces on the upper Lunga River, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on 30 November 1942. Leading his squad into a hostile bivouac, Corporal Yancey surprised over a hundred of the enemy and although vastly outnumbered, he charged into the group, his automatic weapon blasting. Following his daring example, his squad completely overwhelmed the Japanese, killing over fifty and driving the remainder into the bush. By his swift and courageous action, he won a complete victory over the enemy without the loss of a Marine. His great personal valor and outstanding leadership were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: SPOT AWARD: Serial 0478 (SofN Signed July 17, 1943)
Action Date: 30-Nov-42
Service: Marine Corps Reserve
Rank: Corporal
Company: Company F
Battalion: 2d Marine Raider Battalion