PFC William B. Baugh, USMC

Historical Marker #2013 in McKinney remembers Marine Private First Class William B. Baugh, who earned the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Korea.

Baugh was born on July 7, 1930, in McKinney, Kentucky. After moving with his family to Harrison, Ohio, and working in a shoe factory, Baugh enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at age seventeen in 1948.

Baugh trained at Parris Island, South Carolina, and Camp Lejune, North Carolina, before participating in the Inchon Landing and Chosin Reservoir campaigns of the Korean War. Baugh was only twenty years old when, on November 29, 1950, a grenade landed in the vehicle in which he and his comrades were traveling. Baugh used his body to absorb the explosion of the grenade, thus saving his fellow soldiers' lives. Baugh was the 15th United States soldier to receive the Medal of Honor in the Korean War. Eight other Kentuckians earned the military's highest award for actions during the conflict.

His Medal of Honor citation reads: "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a member of an Anti-Tank Assault Squad attached to Company G, Third Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), during a nighttime enemy attack against a motorized column en route from Koto-Ri to Hagaru-Ri, Korea, on November 29, 1950. Acting instantly when a hostile grenade landed in his truck as he and his squad prepared to alight and assist in the repulse of an enemy force delivering intense automatic-weapons and grenade fire from deeply entrenched and well-concealed roadside positions, Private First Class Baugh quickly shouted a warning to the other men in the vehicle and, unmindful of his own personal safety, hurled himself upon the deadly missile, thereby saving his comrades from serious injury or possible death. Sustaining severe wounds from which he died a short time afterward, Private First Class Baugh, by his superb courage and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice, upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."

Baugh was originally buried in Korea, but his remains were reinterred in at Glen Haven Cemetery in Harrison, Ohio.

Images

PFC William B. Baugh

PFC William B. Baugh

William B. Baugh, pictured here, earned the Medal of Honor for sacrificing his life to save fellow soldiers from an exploding grenade. Image in the public domain. View File Details Page

Purple Heart

Purple Heart

Kentuckian Chad Burns earned this Purple Heart when he was killed in action in Korea. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Telegram

Telegram

This heart-breaking telegram was sent to the family of another Kentucky Marine killed in Korea. Chad Burns died in combat only about three months before Baugh was killed. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Korean War Memorial

Korean War Memorial

The Korean War Memorial in Washington D.C. honors the United States soldiers of that conflict. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Tim Talbott, “PFC William B. Baugh, USMC,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed June 24, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/577.

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