Charette, William Richard, HMCM

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Master Chief Petty Officer
Last Primary NEC
HM-0000-Hospital Corpsman
Last Rating/NEC Group
Hospital Corpsman
Primary Unit
1975-1977, HM-8424, Naval Hospital Orlando, FL
Service Years
1951 - 1977
HM-Hospital Corpsman
Six Hash Marks

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

38 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Clifford Gill (Junior), QM2 to remember Charette, William Richard (MOH), HMCM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Ludington, MI
Last Address
Lakeland, Florida

Date of Passing
Mar 18, 2012
Location of Interment
Florida National Cemetery - Bushnell, Florida
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Military Service Number
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Congressional Medal Of Honor SocietyUnited States Navy Memorial
  2016, Congressional Medal Of Honor Society
  2016, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page

 Ribbon Bar
Submarine Enlisted Badge
SSBN Deterrent Patrol Badge - 3 Patrols

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1951, Recruit Training (Great Lakes, IL)
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Naval Hospital Charleston, SCField Medical Training Battalion (Cadre) Camp Pendleton, CA2nd Bn, 7th Marine Regiment (2/7)USS Quillback (SS-424)
USS Triton (SSN-586)Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) (Staff)USS Daniel Webster (SSBN-626)Bureau of Medicine (BUMED)
USS Simon Bolivar (SSBN-641)
  1952-1952, HM-0000, Naval Hospital Charleston, SC
  1952-1953, HM-8404, Field Medical Training Battalion (Cadre) Camp Pendleton, CA
  1953-1953, HM-8404, 2nd Bn, 7th Marine Regiment (2/7)
  1954-1957, HM-8402, USS Quillback (SS-424)
  1958-1961, HM-8402, USS Triton (SSN-586)
  1961-1964, HM-8402, (Staff) Charleston, SC, Fleet Training Unit Atlantic (Staff)
  1964-1968, HM-8402, USS Daniel Webster (SSBN-626)
  1968-1971, HM-8425, Naval Hospital Orlando, FL
  1971-1974, HM-8402, USS Simon Bolivar (SSBN-641)
  1975-1977, HM-8424, Naval Hospital Orlando, FL
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1953-1953 Korean War/Third Korean Winter (1952-53)/Outpost Battles (Vegas - Reno - Carson)
  1960-1973 Vietnam War
  1964-1964 Deployment - SSBN Deterrent Patrol #1
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jan 28, 2016, Other Photos8
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

William Charette became one of only seven members of the Navy to earn a Medal of Honor during the Korean War. (Of the seven who did, five were medics. The other four medics died in the line of duty.) After the war, William Charette continued to serve as a corpsman serving on nuclear submarines until his retirement in 1977.

In one other moment of historic significance, Charette was brought aboard the U.S.S. Canberra and given the honor of placing a wreath on the coffin of an unknown active duty soldier who had died in World War II. The body was then transported to Washington, D.C. and placed in the Tomb of the Unknowns. Unbeknownst to him, he forever enshrined himself in the minds of all Tomb Guards when he was chosen to make the final selection of the Unknown Soldier from World War II in May of 1958. Without any deliberation on his part, he chose one of two unknowns from that war in a ceremony onboard the USS Canberra. In doing so, he forever designated the remains contained inside the casket to the perpetual care of our brotherhood.

Other Comments:

Name of Award
Navy Medal of Honor
Year Awarded
Details behind Award:
Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Hospital Corpsman Third Class William Richard Charette, United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Medical Corpsman with Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea during the early morning hours on 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, Hospital Corpsman Third Class. Charette repeatedly and unhesitatingly 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 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, Hospital Corpsman Third Class 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 aware of the added jeopardy to himself. Moving to the side of another casualty who was suffering excruciating pain from a serious leg wound, Hospital Corpsman Third Class 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, Hospital Corpsman Third Class 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 U.S. Naval Service. 

Action Date: March 27, 1953
Service: Navy
Rank: Hospital Corpsman Third Class
Company: Corpsman (Attached), Company F
Battalion: 2d Battalion
Regiment: 7th Marines
Division: 1st Marine Division

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