Whether on land, at sea or in the air, America’s military men have many heroic achievements to their names. But some individuals stand out from this roll call of honor; they are exceptional even by the highest standards of bravery. Read on to meet 20 men who became some of the most decorated in U.S. military history.
20. Sergeant First Class Edward A. Carter Jr.
Born in Los Angeles in 1916, Edward Allen Carter Jr. had an introduction to military service that was anything but conventional. Living with his parents in China in 1932, he lied about his age to join the Chinese National Army in its war against the Japanese. He also served with the anti-fascist forces during the Spanish Civil War. Carter then joined the U.S. Army in September 1941, a few months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
After being posted to Europe in 1944, Carter soon became a sergeant in the 56th Armored Infantry Battalion. Then, later on, the sergeant was riding in a tank when German troops launched an attack, badly wounding him. Yet nevertheless, the U.S. officer killed six Germans and captured two. Carter won the Distinguished Service Cross – although this was upgraded to the Medal of Honor in 1997, when an apology was also issued for the prejudice that he’d suffered as an African American.
19. Sergeant Major Daniel “Dan” Daly
Daniel Joseph “Dan” Daly began life in Glen Cove, New York, in 1873. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1899. And a year later he was posted to China and fought in the Boxer Rebellion – a conflict that saw Chinese patriots rise up against foreigners in their country. In one action, Daly held a key defensive position, and despite repeated attacks he clung on, inflicting some 200 casualties on his opponents. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery.