America’s military men – on land, at sea and in the air – have many heroic achievements to their names. But some individuals stand out from this roll call of honor, exceptional even by the highest standards of bravery. Read on to meet 20 of the men who became some of the most decorated in U.S. military history.
20. Sergeant First Class Edward A. Carter Jr.
Born in Los Angeles, California, in 1916, Edward Allen Carter Jr.’s introduction to military service was anything but conventional. Living with his parents in China in 1932, he lied about his age to join the Chinese National Army in its war against the Japanese. He also served with the anti-fascist forces during the Spanish Civil War. Carter joined the U.S. Army in September 1941, a few months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
After being posted to Europe in 1944, Carter soon became a sergeant in the 56th Armored Infantry Battalion. He was later riding on a tank when German troops launched an attack, badly wounding the sergeant. Nevertheless, he killed six Germans and captured two. Carter won the Distinguished Service Order, which was upgraded to the Medal of Honor in 1999 in recognition of the prejudice he’d suffered as an alleged communist and an African American.
19. Sergeant Major Daniel “Dan” Daly
Daniel Joseph “Dan” Daly began life in Glen Cove, New York, in 1873. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1899. A year later he was posted to China and fought in the Boxer Rebellion, when Chinese patriots rose up against foreigners in their country. In one action, Daly held a key defensive position, and despite repeated attacks he clung on, inflicting some 200 casualties on his opponents. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery.