On 9 November 1931, Francis Colton Hammond was born in Alexandria, Virginia. He enlisted in the U. S. Navy as a seaman recruit in Washington, D.C. on 20 March 1951. He was assigned to U. S. Naval Hospital Corps School, Great Lakes, Illinois, following recruit training and then was transferred to the U. S. Naval Hospital, Mare Island, Vallejo, California, in December 1951 for further training. On 1 March 1952, he advanced in rate to hospitalman and in November, he transferred to Field Medical Service School, Camp Pendleton, California.

In February 1953, HN Hammond departed the U. S. for Korea, attached to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force. On the night of 26-27 March, HN Hammond’s unit in the Reno Block area near Sanae-dong engaged in a bitter fight against a heavily entrenched and numerically superior hostile force occupying ground on a contested outpost. The casualties were heavy from the thousands of rounds that fell on the Marines’ position. Although already suffering from a leg wound from a previous battle, HN Hammond was determined to help his wounded comrades. Despite the deadly mortar fire, he administered aid for four hours on the battlefield before the unit was ordered to withdraw. But even as the U. S. forces fell back, HN Hammond stayed and directed the evacuation casualties, refusing medical attention for himself. He was assisting the medical personnel of the relieving unit when he was mortally wounded by enemy shell fragments.

For his selfless acts of courage and sacrifice, HN Hammond was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, which was presented to his infant son and wife by Secretary of the Navy Robert B. Anderson at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. He was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, his awards included the Purple Heart Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

Francis Hammond Middle School in his hometown of Alexandria was named in his honor, as was the USS Francis Hammond (DE-1067, later FF-1067).

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

Marine Corps University