ddg-130 uss william charette - seaforces online

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US Navy - Guided Missile Destroyer
DDG 130 - USS William Charette
sorry, no insignia ddg-130 uss william charette arleigh burke class guided missile destroyer us navy aegis gdbiw bath 02x
Type, class: Guided Missile Destroyer - DDG; Arleigh Burke class, Flight III
Builder: General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, USA
Awarded: September 27, 2018
Laid down:

Namesake: William Richard Charette (1932–2012)
Ships Motto: -
Technical Data: see: INFO > Arleigh Burke class Guided Missile Destroyer - DDG
USS William Charette (DDG 130):
William Richard Charette (March 29, 1932 - March 18, 2012)
... was a United States Navy master chief hospital corpsman who received the nation's highest military decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor. He was awarded the medal for heroic actions "above and beyond the call of duty" on March 27, 1953, while assigned to a Marine Corps rifle company during the Korean War. He retired from the Navy after 26 years of service.

Early life
Charette was born on March 29, 1932, in Ludington, Michigan. Both of his parents died when he was four and he was raised by his uncle. He graduated from high school in Ludington, in 1951. He then took a job on a Lake Michigan ferry boat which led him to join the Navy.

U.S. Navy career

Early career
Charette enlisted in the U.S. Navy on January 11, 1951, during the Korean War (1950-1953) and underwent recruit training at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. He then attended the Hospital Corps School at Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland, becoming a Hospital Corpsman upon graduation. Afterwards, he was assigned to duty at the Naval Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina. On April 16, 1952, he was promoted to hospital corpsman third class.

He volunteered to serve in Korea with the Fleet Marine Force (FMF) as a hospital corpsman attached to a Marine Corps unit, and on November 25, 1952, he reported for duty at the Field Medical Service School, Camp Pendleton, California, for field training. After completing the course and graduating as a FMF corpsman, he was assigned to 3rd Platoon, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, which embarked for South Korea on February 5, 1953.

Medal of Honor action
On the night of March 26, 1953, Chinese soldiers in North Korea attacked, and on March 27, overran two of three Marine hill outposts in North Korea manned by Marines and corpsmen from the 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, named Vegas, Carson, and Reno (Vegas and Reno were overrun); Vegas was considered to be the most important outpost and the highest outpost that supported the other two outposts. Late morning that day, a head-on Marine assault was made to try and retake Vegas with the three rifle companies of the 5th Marines taking heavy casualties.

Fox Company, 2/7 Marines (2nd Battalion, 7th Marines were held in reserve) were then committed to the fight for Vegas. Charette and the other Fox Company corpsmen faced a growing number of casualties exposed to hostile small arms and mortar fire when Marines from his rifle company joined in the counterattack on March 27 against "Vegas Hill" with Charette's Third Platoon Commander, 2nd Lieutenant Theodore H. Chenoweth (Navy Cross), leading the assault in hand-to-hand fighting up the south side of the hill. When an enemy grenade landed near Charette and a badly wounded Marine he was aiding, he placed himself on top of the Marine in order to shield him from the explosion, and in doing so, the grenade's blast tore off Charette's helmet and destroyed his medical bag and knocked him unconscious. When he awoke, he found his face bleeding from shrapnel wounds and he couldn't see. He recovered enough to continue to aid Marines in the battle using torn parts of his uniform in order to dress battle wounds. In another instance, he removed his battle vest and placed it on another wounded Marine whose vest was destroyed from another explosion. In yet another instance, he attended to five Marines who were wounded in a trench from another explosion, and then stood up in the trench exposing himself to incoming rounds in order to carry the one most serious wounded comrade to safety. Charette sustained painful wounds during the day's battle and was recommended for the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism. While still serving in Korea after the fighting ended there, he learned that he would receive the United States' highest military decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor.

Charette was presented the Medal of Honor from President Dwight D. Eisenhower during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C., on January 12, 1954. Only five enlisted sailors were awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroic actions during the Korean War. All were Navy hospital corpsmen attached to the Marine Corps. Of the five (Edward C. Benfold, Richard Dewert, Francis C. Hammond, John E. Kilmer, and Charette), Charette was the only living recipient of the medal.

Later career
Charette continued serving in the Navy, training new hospital corpsmen at the Naval Hospital Corps School in Great Lakes, Illinois. In 1958, aboard the USS Canberra, he had the honor of selecting the World War II remains (one from the Pacific, and one from the European) that would be placed in the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.

He eventually transferred to the Submarine Service, becoming one of the first hospital corpsmen to serve on a nuclear submarine. He served as an Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC) in the Navy's nuclear submarine program. He served under Captain Edward L. Beach, Jr. on the USS Triton, but joined the crew too late to participate in Triton's historic circumnavigation voyage in 1960. He was also an IDC on the USS Sam Houston Gold crew 1962-1965.

Charette's other assignments included the USS Quillback; Fleet Ballistic Missile Training Center, Charleston, SC; USS Daniel Webster; Naval Hospital, Orlando, FL; USS Simon Bolivar; and at the Recruit Dispensary, Orlando, FL.

Charette retired from the Navy at the rate (rank) of Master Chief Hospital Corpsman (HMCM) on April 1, 1977, after 26 years of service.

Charette died at his home in Lake Wales, Florida, on March 18, 2012, due to complications from heart surgery. He was interred at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida. He was married for 57 years with four children.

On April 30, 1999, the Charette Health Care Center, a part of the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia, was dedicated in his honor.

AMVETS Post 82 of Ludington, Michigan, was named after Charette in 1982.

In downtown Ludington, there is a mural dedicated to William R. Charette. It depicts his tour of duty during which he earned the Medal of Honor. Charette was able to come to Ludington and see the mural before his death.

A sign was put up near Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital that honors him.

A Sea Cadet unit is named in his honor, National Naval Medical Center Bethesda William R. Charette Battalion.

source: wikipedia

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another history:

Charette was born on March 29, 1932, in Ludington, Michigan. His parents died when he was 5, so he and his sister were raised by an uncle until World War II. When that uncle was drafted and sent to war, another uncle took care of them on a large dairy farm, which Charette helped work into his teen years.

After high school, Charette worked on a ferry boat on nearby Lake Michigan. The job inspired his interest in working on the water, which led him to join the Navy in 1951, shortly before he turned 19. He was selected to be a hospital corpsman – a medic – because there was a shortage of them at the time.

Charette served at a Navy hospital during his first year, but he later volunteered to attach to a Marine reserve unit. As a hospital corpsman 3rd class, he joined F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division and was sent to Korea in January 1953.

About two months into the deployment, Charette's unit was near Panmunjom guarding three hilly outposts along the route from North Korea to the South Korean capital of Seoul. On March 27, 1953, Chinese soldiers fighting for North Korea attacked. Through a barrage of mortar and small-arms fire, Charette moved from wounded comrade to wounded comrade, helping them in any way he could.

When an enemy grenade landed near one Marine he was helping, Charette immediately threw himself onto the injured man, absorbing the blast with his own body. The explosion ripped off Charette's helmet and medical aid kit and knocked him unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he used his own clothing as bandages to help the other injured men around him, ignoring his own wounds. One Marine's armored vest had been ripped off his body by an explosion, so Charette took off his own and put it on the injured man.

The unit moved toward safety in a trench. They were carrying a Marine who was suffering from a serious leg wound when they reached a point where the trench had caved in.

"Where the trench was blown in, they stopped. I was somewhere toward the rear, so I walked - well, huddled down - to get up there. I was pretty young and strong at the time, so I said, 'I'm going to stand up, and you pass him to me and get someone on the other side to take him, and we'll just lift him over.’ And that's what we did," Charette said during a Library of Congress Veterans History Project interview in the early 2000s.

The 20-year-old hospital corpsman exposed himself to a hail of enemy fire to make that happen. Using this dangerous maneuver, the unit got four more injured men across the blown-in trench and took them to an aid station.

Charette saved several lives that day. He was initially recommended for the Navy Cross, but that was upgraded to the Medal of Honor.

"When they came and told me they'd moved it up to a Medal of Honor, I immediately went to our captain and told him, ‘I don't want it.’ I didn't think I earned it," Charette said. "I think it was Ernie Pyle who said, 'You're ashamed to be alive when you're among the dead.’ And he was right."

Charette accepted the honor, despite never considering himself a hero. With much of his family present, he and two soldiers received the medal from President Dwight D. Eisenhower during a White House ceremony on Jan. 12, 1954.

"You try to wear it in respect for those people who should have gotten it but didn't," Charette later said.

Five enlisted Navy hospital corpsmen received the Medal of Honor for actions taken in Korea. Charette was the only living recipient.

Charette was still in Korea when the armistice was signed. He left the Navy briefly after returning to the U.S., but he eventually re-enlisted and served for many years in the nuclear submarine program. During that time, he married and had four children.

In 1977, Charette retired as a master chief hospital corpsman after 26 years of service.

Since then, he has spoken to schoolchildren and various other groups over the years.

His main message: "You can't forget Korea."

Charette died from heart surgery complications on March 18, 2012, near his home in Lakeland, Florida. He is buried at Florida National Cemetery.

Medal of Honor citation:
“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a Medical Corpsman, serving with a Marine Rifle Company, in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea during the early morning hours of 27 March 1953. Participating in a fierce encounter with a cleverly concealed and well-entrenched enemy force occupying positions on a vital and bitterly contested outpost far in advance of the main line of resistance, Charette repeatedly and unhesitating moved about through a murderous barrage of hostile small-arms and mortar fire to render assistance to his wounded comrades. When an enemy grenade landed within a few feet of a Marine he was attending, he immediately threw himself upon the stricken man and absorbed the entire concussion of the deadly missile with his own body. Although sustaining painful facial wounds, and undergoing shock from the intensity of the blast which ripped the helmet and medical aid kit from his person, Charette resourcefully improvised emergency bandages by tearing off part of his clothing, and gallantly continued to administer medical aid to the wounded in his own unit and to those in adjacent platoon areas as well. Observing a seriously wounded comrade whose armored vest had been torn from his body by the blast from an exploding shell, he selflessly removed his own battle vest and placed it upon the helpless man although fully award of the added jeopardy to himself. Moving to the side of another casualty who was suffering excruciating pain from a serious leg wound, Charette stood upright in the trench line and exposed himself to a deadly hail of enemy fire in order to lend more effective aid to the victim and to alleviate his anguish while being removed to a position of safety. By his indomitable courage and inspiring efforts in behalf of his wounded comrades, Charette was directly responsible for saving many lives. His great personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

source: US DoD
  william charette master chief hospital corpsman us navy medal of honor 04  william charette master chief hospital corpsman us navy medal of honor 03

william charette master chief hospital corpsman us navy medal of honor president dwight d. eisenhower 02
President Dwight D. Eisenhower poses with three men to whom he has just presented the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry in Korean War combat action, at the White House, Washington, D.C., 12 January 1954. Those who received the medal are (from left to right): First Lieutenant Edward R. Schowalter, Jr., U.S. Army, honored for his actions near Kumhwa, Korea, on 14 October 1952; Private First Class Ernest E. West, U.S. Army, honored for his actions near Sataeri, Korea, on 12 October 1952; and Hospital Corpsman Third Class William R. Charette, U.S. Navy, honored for his actions in Korea on 17 March 1953

william charette master chief hospital corpsman us navy medal of honor decorations
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