The Medal of Honor is awarded for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States." This 6 part documentary chronicles the highest award given to military personnel for their extreme bravery, valor and harrowing sacrifices. Covering the Civil War through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, learn about the most courageous acts performed by the people who fight for American freedom. You'll discover the history of the award and it's recipients through live re-enactments, interviews and archival footage. These are their stories... THE CIVIL WAR - in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton first authorized a new medal, known now as the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government to her Soldiers & Sailors. The first awardees were members of the famous train-stealing "Andrews Raid" party, and this episode also explores some of the first American-Americans to win distinction in battle with the Medal of Honor. WORLD WAR ONE - Sergeant Alvin C. York of the U.S. 82nd Division is probably the most famous Medal of Honor recipient and his combat experience is detailed here. As is the epic story of Corporal Freddie Stowers who was posthumously awarded the medal seventy-three years after his 1918 action. Marine John Henry Pruitt was a rare awardee who received both the Army and Navy Medals of Honor for his action. WORLD WAR TWO - EUROPE - Medal of Honor awardee First Lieutenant Robert Waugh is one anchor story for Episode Three, along with African-Americans and Lieutenants Vernon Baker and John R. Fox fighting the German Army in the Italian Campaign. In addition, the Medals of Honor awarded for actions on D-Day, June 6, 1944 are documented in great detail. WORLD WAR TWO - PACIFIC - United States Marine and Army stories from the island-to-island Pacific War take US from Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima. Private John McKinney's actions on the Philippine Island of Luzon and Sergeant Thomas A. Baker's fight at Saipan on the Marina Islands and Marine Private William Watson on Iwo Jima. THE KOREAN WAR - Episode Five details the "Forgotten War" and awardees First Lieutenant Walter Schowalter, Corporal Rodolfo Hernandez and Sergeant Cornelius Charlton in battle against the Communist Chinese and North Koreans. In addition, the "Special Citations & Awards" given to the Unknown Soldiers and the unknowns of Allies from World War One are examined. THE VIETNAM WAR - Episode Six lands in the jungles and the rocky grasslands of Vietnam, telling the stories of several men whose actions at the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley in 1965 earned them the Medal of Honor - most notably Second Lieutenant Walter Joseph Marm and helicopter pilots Captains Ed Freeman and Bruce Crandall who received their awards almost 40 years later. As well, African-Americans Milton Olive and Captain Riley Pitts, the first African-American officer to be awarded the medal. This episode also carries US forward to the current War of Terror and the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Producer: Robin Brown
Actor: Coby Batty