Herbert A. "Hal" Littleton was born on July 1, 1930, in Mena, Arkansas. He moved with his family to Rapid City, South Dakota, before enlisting in the Marine Corps Reserve on July 29, 1948, for a one-year term. After his service, he moved to Nampa, Idaho in 1950.
After the outbreak of the Korean War, Littleton reenlisted in the Marine Corps. Following recruit training in San Diego, California, he trained at Camp Pendleton and went to Korea with the 3rd Replacement Draft, fighting in South and Central Korean operations from December 17, 1950 until his death.
Littleton earned the nation's highest award for valor on April 22, 1951, at Chungehon, Korea when he smothered an enemy grenade with his body and was fatally wounded.
Medal of Honor citation
The President of the United States takes great pride in presenting the Medal of Honor posthumously to
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS HERBERT A. LITTLETON UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
For service set forth in the following CITATION:
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.).
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Radio Operator with an Artillery Forward Observation Team of Company C, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 22 April 1951. Standing watch when a well-concealed and numerically superior enemy force launched a violent night attack from nearby positions against his company, Private First Class Littleton quickly alerted the forward observation team and immediately moved into an advantageous position to assist in calling down artillery fire on the hostile force. When an enemy hand grenade was thrown into his vantage point shortly after the arrival of the remainder of the team, he unhesitatingly hurled himself on the deadly missile, absorbing its full, shattering impact in his own body. By his prompt action and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice, he saved the other members of his team from serious injury or death and enabled them to carry on the vital mission which culminated in the repulse of the hostile attack. His indomitable valor in the face of almost certain death reflects the highest credit upon Private First Class Littleton and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
/S/ Harry S. Truman
C o p y r i g h t (C) 2 0 1 7 – H e a t h R o b i s o n / I d a h o H e r o e s . o r g