|The Medal of Honor is America's highest award for combat valor. Its stature is so high that President Harry S. Truman, a WWI veteran with a deep
understanding of the horrors of combat and the need for extraordinary heroism to overcome them, once told a gathering of WWII recipients: "I'd rather have this medal than be president". General George S. Patton, an outstanding combat soldier who also had a clear grasp of combat bravery, told one recipient as he placed the coveted medal around the hero's neck: "I'd give my immortal soul for that medal".
Only an act of the most conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity, far above and beyond the call of duty, in the presence of an armed enemy merits the Medal of Honor. The deed must involve a clear risk of life. It must be that type of voluntary act which, if the hero did not do it, would not subject him to undue criticism. In addition, at least two eyewitnesses must attest to the deed. By adhering to these strict criteria the armed forces have reserved the Medal of Honor soley for the "bravest of the brave".
Of the 13 million men who served our country during WWII, only 433 received the Medal of Honor. In other words, only 1 in every 30,000 servicemen received our nation's highest decoration for combat valor. Only 190 of those brave men survived to receive their medals. John Squires was one of the 243 recipients who died in the service of his country. He was the first Kentuckian to receive the medal during WWII. At the time the medal was awarded, at 18 years of age, he was the youngest Army man to receive it. He was the only serviceman from Louisville and Jefferson County to receive the Medal during WWII.
Medal of Honor
Civil War 1861-1865
Indian Campaigns 1870-1891
Actions in Peacetime 1871-1910
Wars of American Expansion 1897-1902
World War I 1917-1919
World War II 1941-1945
Korean War 1950-1953
Vietnam War 1961-1975
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