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First Name: David

Last Name: Champagne

Birthplace: Waterville, ME, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Boston, MA
Middle Name: Bernard

Date of Birth: 13 November 1932

Date of Death: 28 May 1952

Rank: Corporal

Years Served: 1951-1952
David Bernard Champagne

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


David Bernard Champagne
Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps

Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

David Bernard Champagne was born on 13 November 1932 in Waterville, ME. Champagne attended public schools in Wakefield, MA, and worked at the local community theatre prior to enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps on 7 March 1951 in Boston. He received recruit training at Parris Island, SC, and then was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA.

After being transferred to Company A, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced) in Korea, he participated in three campaigns before being mortally wounded.

On 28 May 1952, Corporal Champagne, a fire team leader, advanced with his platoon in the initial assault on a strongly fortified and heavily defended enemy hill position. He successfully led his team through enemy grenade, small-arms, and machine gun fire to the crest of the hill. Although wounded in the encounter, he refused evacuation.

The enemy counterattack intensified and a grenade landed in the midst of Champagne's team. Without hesitation, he seized the grenade and threw it at the enemy. It exploded as it left his hand and hurled him out of the trench. While thus exposed to enemy mortar fire, he was mortally wounded. For his heroic action, Corporal Champagne was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor; he was also awarded the Purple Heart.

Corporal Champagne's Medal of Honor was presented to his 15-year-old brother by General Reginald H. Ridgely, Jr. (Honoree Record ID 221933) during presentation ceremonies held at the Old Mountain Baseball Field in Wakefield, in July 1953.

Medal Of Honor

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Fire Team Leader of Company A, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 28 May 1952. Advancing with his platoon in the initial assault of the company against a strongly fortified and heavily defended hill position, Corporal Champagne skillfully led his fire team through a veritable hail of intense enemy machine-gun, small-arms and grenade fire, overrunning trenches and a series of almost impregnable bunker positions before reaching the crest of the hill and placing his men in defensive positions. Suffering a painful leg wound while assisting in repelling the ensuing hostile counterattack, which was launched under cover of a murderous hail of mortar and artillery fire, he steadfastly refused evacuation and fearlessly continued to control his fire team. When the enemy counterattack increased in intensity, and a hostile grenade landed in the midst of the fire team, Corporal Champagne unhesitatingly seized the deadly missile and hurled it in the direction of the approaching enemy. As the grenade left his hand, it exploded, blowing off his hand and throwing him out of the trench. Mortally wounded by enemy mortar fire while in this exposed position, Corporal Champagne, by his valiant leadership, fortitude and gallant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death, undoubtedly saved the lives of several of his fellow Marines. His heroic actions served to inspire all who observed him and reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
Navy & Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
United Nations Service Medal
Republic of Korea War Service Medal


David Bernard Champagne is buried at Saint Francis Catholic Cemetery, Waterville, ME.

Honoree ID: 1138   Created by: MHOH




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