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First Name: Charles

Last Name: Barker

Birthplace: Pickens County, SC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Pickens County, SC
Middle Name: Heyward

Date of Birth: 14 April 1935

Date of Death: 04 June 1953 (Presumed)

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1952 - 1953
Charles Heyward Barker

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Charles Heyward Barker
Private First Class, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

Charles Heyward Barker was born on 12 April 1935, in Pickens County, SC.

Barker also joined the U.S. Army from Pickens County. He served in Korea as a private with Company K of the 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. During the Battle of Pork Chop Hill on 4 June 1953, near Sokkogae, his platoon was on patrol outside the Pork Chop outpost when they stumbled upon a group of Chinese soldiers digging entrenchments. Barker and another soldier provided covering fire with their rifles and grenades while the rest of the platoon moved to a better position on higher ground. As the fight intensified and ammunition ran low, the platoon was ordered to withdraw to the outpost. Barker volunteered to stay behind and cover the retreat; he was last seen engaging Chinese soldiers in hand-to-hand combat. Barker was initially classified as Missing in Action, then declared Presumed Dead on 5 June 1954.

Barker was posthumously promoted to Private First Class.

On 7 June 1955, Barker was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on Pork Chop Hill. His Medal of Honor citation reads:

Pfc. Barker, a member of Company K, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. While participating in a combat patrol engaged in screening an approach to "Pork-Chop Outpost," Pfc. Barker and his companions surprised and engaged an enemy group digging emplacements on the slope. Totally unprepared, the hostile troops sought cover. After ordering Pfc. Barker and a comrade to lay down a base of fire, the patrol leader maneuvered the remainder of the platoon to a vantage point on higher ground. Pfc. Barker moved to an open area firing his rifle and hurling grenades on the hostile positions. As enemy action increased in volume and intensity, mortar bursts fell on friendly positions, ammunition was in critical supply, and the platoon was ordered to withdraw into a perimeter defense preparatory to moving back to the outpost. Voluntarily electing to cover the retrograde movement, he gallantly maintained a defense and was last seen in close hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. Pfc. Barker's unflinching courage, consummate devotion to duty, and supreme sacrifice enabled the patrol to complete the mission and effect an orderly withdrawal to friendly lines, reflecting lasting glory upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the military service.

Medals, Awards & Badge

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
Republic of Korea War Service Medal
Korean Presidential Unit Citation
Combat Infantryman Badge

His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

Honoree ID: 1128   Created by: MHOH




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