Our "Medal of Honor" series explores the stories behind the courageous Pennsylvanian veterans who have been awarded the prestigious Medal of Honor for their exemplary service in the United States military. In this entry, we recognize the achievements of Clifton T. Speicher, who was awarded the Medal of Honor on August 19, 1953.
Born on March 25, 1931, in Gray, Pennsylvania, Speicher joined the Army from that city in 1951. By June 14, 1952, he was serving in Korea as a corporal in Company F of the 223rd Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division.
Cpl. Speicher distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. While participating in an assault to secure a key terrain feature, Cpl. Speicher's squad was pinned down by withering small-arms mortar, and machine gun fire. Although already wounded, he left the comparative safety of his position, and made a daring charge against the machine gun emplacement. Within 10 yards of the goal, he was again wounded by small-arms fire but continued on, entered the bunker, killed two hostile soldiers with his rifle, a third with his bayonet, and silenced the machine gun. Inspired by this incredible display of valor, the men quickly moved up and completed the mission. Dazed and shaken, he walked to the foot of the hill where he collapsed and died. Cpl. Speicher's consummate sacrifice and unflinching devotion to duty reflect lasting glory upon himself and uphold the noble traditions of the military service.