Medal of Honor Citation

Major George H. O’Brien, Jr., was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Nation’s highest decoration, for conspicuous gallantry as a second lieutenant on “the Hook” in Korea. He was decorated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower at a White House ceremony on 27 October 1953, just a year to the day after the heroic action for which he was cited.

George Herman O’Brien, Jr., was born on 10 September 1926, in Fort Worth, Texas. He graduated from high school in Big Spring in 1944. From December 1944 until May 1946, he was a seaman in the United States Merchant Marine. He then entered Texas Technological College where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology in May 1950. While in college, he enlisted as a private in the Marine Corps Reserve in July 1949.

Ordered to active duty on 27 November 1951, he entered the Officer Candidate Course at Quantico, Virginia. He completed that course in February 1952, and entered the Basic Course the following month, graduating from it in August 1952. After further training at Camp Pendleton, California, he embarked for Korea in September 1952, where he joined the 1st Marine Division. He was promoted to major in the Reserve in 1963.

Major O'Brien passed away from complications associated with emphysema and pneumonia on 11 March 2005 in Midland, Texas. He was laid to rest in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, he held the Purple Heart Medal with Gold Star in lieu of a second award, the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars, and the United Nations Service Medal.

Korean War Medal of Honor

Marine Corps University