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First Name: David

Last Name: Bleak

Birthplace: Idaho Falls, ID, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Shelley, ID
Middle Name: Bruce

Date of Birth: 27 February 1932

Date of Death: 23 March 2006

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served: 1950 - 1953
David Bruce Bleak

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


David Bruce Bleak
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

David B. Bleak was born at Idaho Falls, ID, on 27 February 1932.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army at Shelley, ID, in 1950. David was shipped to Korea where he served with the Medical Company of 223d Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division.

During his service as a medical aidman in the Korean War, he engaged in heroic actions to try to save the lives of his comrades and he saved the life of at least one of them. These actions took place in the vicinity of Minari-gol, Korea, on 14 June 1952. For this, he was presented with the Medal of Honor by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in October 1953.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Medical Company, 223rd Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division

Place and date: Vicinity of Minari-gol, Korea, 14 June 1952

G.O. No.: 83, 2 November 1953


Sgt. Bleak, a member of the medical company, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. As a medical aidman, he volunteered to accompany a reconnaissance patrol committed to engage the enemy and capture a prisoner for interrogation. Forging up the rugged slope of the key terrain, the group was subjected to intense automatic weapons and small arms fire and suffered several casualties. After administering to the wounded, he continued to advance with the patrol. Nearing the military crest of the hill, while attempting to cross the fire-swept area to attend the wounded, he came under hostile fire from a small group of the enemy concealed in a trench. Entering the trench he closed with the enemy, killed 2 with bare hands and a third with his trench knife. Moving from the emplacement, he saw a concussion grenade fall in front of a companion and, quickly shifting his position, shielded the man from the impact of the blast. Later, while ministering to the wounded, he was struck by a hostile bullet but, despite the wound, he undertook to evacuate a wounded comrade. As he moved down the hill with his heavy burden, he was attacked by 2 enemy soldiers with fixed bayonets. Closing with the aggressors, he grabbed them and smacked their heads together, then carried his helpless comrade down the hill to safety. Sgt. Bleak's dauntless courage and intrepid actions reflect utmost credit upon himself and are in keeping with the honored traditions of the military service.

After the war, Bleak lived in Wyoming and held various jobs, including rancher, butcher and truck driver. He eventually became a janitor at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, where he worked his way up to Chief Hot Cell Technician (one who disposes of spent nuclear fuel rods). He served in that position until his retirement in the mid-1990s. During the mid-70s to mid-80s, he also spent time as a dairy farmer in Moore, ID. His hobbies included rock polishing.

David died on 23 March 2006 from emphysema, Parkinson's Disease, and complications from a hip fracture. He died the same day as another Medal of Honor recipient, Desmond Doss. David Bleak was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A cenotaph exists for David Bruce Bleak at Lost River Cemetery in Moore, ID.

Honoree ID: 1132   Created by: MHOH




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