Richard David DeWert was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, on 17 November 1931 and enlisted in the U. S. Navy there on 2 December 1948 as a seaman recruit. He received his recruit training at the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois. On 29 February 1949 he advanced to the rank of seaman apprentice, and in March he reported for instruction at the U. S. Naval Hospital Corps School, Great Lakes. In July of that same year, he transferred to the U. S. Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia, where he was advanced to hospitalman on 16 April 1950.

In July 1950, HN DeWert was assigned to the 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Division. Landing at Inchon, Korea in September, he participated in operations to liberate Seoul and was involved in the landings at Wonsan, the Chosin Reservoir Campaign, and the Hungnam Evacuation.

On 5 April 1951, HN DeWert was with a Marine fire team on its way to make contact with adjacent friendly units northeast of Kunchon when the enemy opened fire. Despite heavy automatic weapons fire, HN DeWert rushed forward to aid the wounded Marines. While he tried to drag one serious wounded Marine out of the line of fire, he himself was wounded in the leg. Refusing treatment, HN DeWert returned to the battle and managed to drag yet another Marine to safety. He returned yet again to the battlefield despite the protests of others. While moving towards another casualty, HN DeWert was shot again, this time in the shoulder. Despite his wounds, he continued toward the fallen man, only to discover he was to late to be of any aid. Hearing another cry for aid, he immediately crossed the field to help. HN DeWert was killed by enemy fire while administering aid. For his heroism and selfless devotion, HN DeWert was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Hospitalman DeWert’s body was returned to the U.S. and laid to rest in the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne, Massachusetts. His Medal of Honor was presented to his mother on 27 May 1952 by the Secretary of the Navy Dan A. Kimball.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, HN DeWert’s awards included the Purple Heart Medal, the Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal. The guided missile frigate USS DeWert (FFG-45) was named in his honor and launched on 18 December 1982.

Navy Medal of Honor recipients serving with Marine units at the time of award

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