Valor Friday

| May 3, 2024

Then-Captain Benjamin Wilson, circa 1956

Don’t let the bookish looks of this bespectacled man deceive you. This guy was a straight up badass.

Benjamin Wilson enlisted in the Army before WWII. He was at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Schofield Barracks wasn’t a prime target of either of the two waves of Japanese aircraft. It was across the street from Wheeler Field, which was a target. Wheeler was an Army Air Forces base that was home to many pursuit aircraft. Wheeler was actually the first target the Japanese hit on their way to their main target at Pearl Harbor. Though Wheeler was devastated, 12 American aviators were able to get their P-36 Hawk and P-40 Warhawks into the air and engaged in dogfights with the enemy, scoring the first kills. Across the street, Schofield Barracks was strafed as a target of opportunity. The soldiers within the barracks grabbed their rifles and shot back, but it’s doubtful they exacted any meaningful revenge on the enemy.

Wilson was selected for officer training, and was commissioned in Field Artillery. He didn’t see further overseas service before the end of the war, and with the draw down of forces, he mustered out. He went back home to Washington, but didn’t like it. Just nine months later he was reenlisting. The problem was that the drastically reducing peacetime Army didn’t have room for any lieutenants, so Wilson joined up as a private again.

Wilson rose the ranks quickly, becoming First Sergeant of Company I, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division by 1951. The division was called to action against the communists in the Korean War.

On 4 June 1951, Ida Company was ordered to take the biggest hill overlooking the Hwachon Reservoir. The hill came to be known as “Hell Hill” for the brutal fighting that would ensue there. On that first day of the fighting for the hill, First Sergeant Wilson was severely wounded. As the battle reached a crescendo, Wilson was being carried off the field by stretcher-bearers. When they set him down to rest, Wilson rolled off the stretcher. He got up, and trudged back up the hill to rejoin his men, never saying a word.

It’s well known that Colonel Lew Millet led the “last major bayonet charge” of the US Army. He got the Medal of Honor for doing so. He wore the most epic non-regulation mustache since the Civil War for all of his career, except for when he was getting the medal from the President. As happens often in my research, I’ve discovered there might be another who can make that claim. Millet’s bayonet charge was on 7 February 1951, a few months before the next major event for Wilson.

On 5 June, the very day after he wandered back into action after being literally carried out of battle, Wilson led the charge. When the lead elements of his company were halted in their ascent of Hell Hill, they faced a numerically superior, well entrenched enemy. Wilson charged forward, with rifle firing and throwing grenades, he attacked the enemy position, killing four men manning submachine guns.

Once his platoon moved up, and set up a base of fire, Wilson led a bayonet charge up the hill. His award citation credits him with killing 27 enemy in this action. As they occupied the new position though, the enemy mounted a determined counterattack.

Immediately recognizing that they were at risk of being overrun, Wilson made a lone charge into the enemy offensive. He killed seven more enemy single-handedly, wounded two, and sent the rest of the communists fleeing in disarray. Seizing the initiative, Wilson ensured his men were set up for a defense, then led a charge to within 15 yards of the objective.

Heavy enemy resistance halted them from moving on the objective, so Wilson ordered his platoon to retreat. Though wounded again today (and still carrying yesterday’s wounds), Wilson remained behind to cover his men’s withdrawal. In the ensuing counter attack, the company commander and platoon leader became casualties. Wilson, charged forward once more into the enemy.

In a fanatical lone charge at the communists, Wilson killed three enemy with his rifle before it became and hand-to-hand melee. The enemy wrestled the rifle from Wilson’s hands, so he grabbed his entrenching tool, and violently attacked. He killed four more with the shovel. The delaying action was enough to hold back the enemy long enough for his men to conduct an orderly retreat.

In the retreat, Wilson was wounded yet again, but refused to be evacuated. He remained with his men until assured that all of the wounded were cared for. Wilson would receive the Medal of Honor for this day’s action. Before the recommendation could even be written though, he earned a second nomination. On the very next day.

On 6 June, Wilson would once more charge into the enemy alone and violently slaughter every communist he could touch. He killed another 33 with his rifle, hand grenades, and bayonet before all the movement reopened the wounds from his previous couple of days activity. Finally, he had given it all. He was evacuated.

Army policy at the time (and until today) was that a man cannot earn more than one Medal of Honor. An absurd proposition, as men like Colonel Robert Howard was thrice recommended for the MoH over a 13 month span for three separate actions, and earned the award three times over in my estimation. Howard got one MoH and two Distinguished Service Crosses instead of a second and third MoH. Similarly, that same policy saw Wilson get a DSC for his second MoH recommendation in as many days.

Returned to the States for convalescence, Wilson was given a battlefield commission. By the time his MoH award came through, in 1954, he was a first lieutenant. He retired from the Army in 1960 as a major. It looks like he had at least one son, and was living in Hawaii when he died in 1988 at the age of 66.

Category: Army, Historical, Korea, Medal of Honor, Valor, We Remember

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The term FAFO was written just for this guy.


As you stated in your opening lines, he was straight up badass. A can of whoop ass in disguise. I’m sure a lot of communists last words before he introduced them to their maker was, ” holy shit, who is this guy”.


Amazing! Indefatigable, like a machine.


The Energizer Bunny, but of death.

Was this the first American to use the phrase about “…good communists…”?

“Pro Patria” indeed.

Rest Well, Warrior.

Prior Service

My math skills are weak but I add that up to 78 enemy KIA by this one guy. Holy cow. The balls that takes. Now unleash him at any lib American university and see what happens. His dead corpse is worth more than the entirety of these protestors.

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

“CLANK CLANK” as he walks through his troops.

“… so he grabbed his entrenching tool, …”
Where have we seen/heard this before?
(I’m referring to one of the SV shitheads)

Yeah, well Giduck couldn’t even graduate from Basic so his opinion is worthless.


Take this with a grain of salt, not trying to nit-pick, but it should be “Item” Company, 31st INF, not “Ida” Company. The only time “Ida” was used as the phonetic sound-out for the letter “I” was in 1947 by the International Civil Aviation Organization.


Good fucking NIGHT! What a man!