Lt. Darwin K. Kyle

Historical Marker #1906 near Jenkins, Kentucky, notes the heroism of Lt. Darwin K. Kyle, who won the Medal of Honor in the Korean War.

Darwin Keith Kyle was born in the coal mining town of Jenkins, Kentucky, on June 1, 1918. Kyle entered the U.S. Army at Racine, West Virginia in November of 1939, and fought in World War II, where he earned a Silver and Bronze Star in France and Germany.

Kyle was a Master Sergeant when the Korean War started and earned a promotion and citations during the evacuation of Hungnam in December 1950. As a Second Lieutenant in Company K, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, Kyle was killed in action on February 16, 1951, near Kamil-ni, Korea.

Kyle’s Medal of Honor citation notes that "When his platoon had been pinned down by intense fire, he completely exposed himself to move among and encourage his men to continue the advance against enemy forces strongly entrenched on Hill 185. Inspired by his courageous leadership, the platoon resumed the advance but was again pinned down when an enemy machine gun opened fire, wounding 6 of the men. 2d Lt. Kyle immediately charged the hostile emplacement alone, engaged the crew in hand-to-hand combat, killing all 3. Continuing on toward the objective, his platoon suddenly received an intense automatic-weapons fire from a well-concealed hostile position on its right flank. Again leading his men in a daring bayonet charge against this position, firing his carbine and throwing grenades, 2d Lt. Kyle personally destroyed 4 of the enemy before he was killed by a burst from an enemy submachine gun."

Kyle was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in February 1952. He was buried in Sunset Memorial Park in South Charleston, West Virginia.

Images

Korean War Map

Korean War Map

This Korean War map of the Kaesong region was used by a soldier, who like Lt. Kyle, had also fought in World War II. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

North Korean Flag

North Korean Flag

This North Korean flag was brought back to the United States by Kentuckian and Army Ranger William S. Stovall, who served in that conflict. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Purple Heart

Purple Heart

This Purple Heart medal was earned by Frankfort native Chadwick O. Burns, who was killed in the Korean War in 1950. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Main Street in Jenkins

Main Street in Jenkins

This early 20th century photograph shows Main Street in Jenkins, Kentucky, where Lt. Kyle was born. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Tim Talbott, “Lt. Darwin K. Kyle,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed July 27, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/234.

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