Emmett O’Donnell, Jr. was born on September 15, 1906 in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from the United States Military Academy, West Point in 1928 and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. He served during World War II in the Air Corps and United States Army Air Forces. As a Brigadier General, he led the first Boeing B-29 Superfortress raid on Tokyo, November 24, 1944. This was the first American attack on the Japanese capital since the “Doolittle Raid” on April 18, 1942 .
Note: In many cases where World War II Medal of Honor recipients are “stacked”, TFH is choosing to post some of their stories early. This is to prevent both writing crush and division of attention to these heroes!
Van Thomas Barfoot was born in Edinburg, Mississippi on June 15, 1919. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1940, and prior to the United States’ entry into World War II, served in the 1st Infantry Division.
He was promoted to Sergeant in December 1941, and assigned to an Army unit planning for amphibious assault tactics co-located with the United States Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. When that unit was disbanded, Barfoot was reassigned to the 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division.
Einar Harold Ingman, Jr. was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 6, 1929. He enlisted in the United States Army in November, 1949 hoping to become an equipment operator, but was assigned for service as an infantryman.
On February 26, 1951 while fighting in Korea with the 2nd Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, now Corporal Ingman took command of two squads whose leaders had become casualties. While rallying the two beleaguered groups of men, he single-handedly knocked out two enemy machine gun positions, the second after being shot through his face and becoming dazed from a grenade blast. His courage was recognized with the award of the Medal of Honor.
INGMAN, EINAR H., JR.
Rank and organization: Sergeant (then Cpl.), U.S. Army, Company E, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Maltari, Korea, 26 February 1951. Entered service at: Tomahawk, Wis. Born: 6 October 1929, Milwaukee, Wis. G.O. No.: 68, 2 August 1951. Citation: Sgt. Ingman, a member of Company E, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. The 2 leading squads of the assault platoon of his company, while attacking a strongly fortified ridge held by the enemy, were pinned down by withering fire and both squad leaders and several men were wounded. Cpl. Ingman assumed command, reorganized and combined the 2 squads, then moved from 1 position to another, designating fields of fire and giving advice and encouragement to the men. Locating an enemy machine gun position that was raking his men with devastating fire he charged it alone, threw a grenade into the position, and killed the remaining crew with rifle fire. Another enemy machine gun opened fire approximately 15 yards away and inflicted additional casualties to the group and stopped the attack. When Cpl. Ingman charged the second position he was hit by grenade fragments and a hail of fire which seriously wounded him about the face and neck and knocked him to the ground. With incredible courage and stamina, he arose instantly and, using only his rifle, killed the entire guncrew before falling unconscious from his wounds. As a result of the singular action by Cpl. Ingman the defense of the enemy was broken, his squad secured its objective, and more than 100 hostile troops abandoned their weapons and fled in disorganized retreat. Cpl. Ingman’s indomitable courage, extraordinary heroism, and superb leadership reflect the highest credit on himself and are in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the infantry and the U.S. Army.
Ingman survived his wounds, but suffered from after effects of his head and brain injuries for years following the war. He is still living today at age 83, but has been hampered further since suffering a stroke in 2003.
2nd Battalion, 17th Infantry is currently inactive. The 7th Infantry Division is currently active as an administrative and training headquarters for Army units stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.