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First Name: Gilbert

Last Name: Collier

Birthplace: Hunter, AR, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Tichnor, AR
Middle Name: George

Date of Birth: 30 December 1930

Date of Death: 20 July 1953

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served: 1951 - 1953
Gilbert George Collier

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Gilbert George Collier
Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

Gilbert George Collier was born on 30 December 1930 in Hunter, AR. He entered the U.S. Army at Tichnor, AR, and was a Corporal in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Acts of heroism abounded on 19-20 July 1953. (Then) Corporal Gilbert G. Collier of F Company, 2nd Bn., 223rd Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division, earned the Army's last Medal of Honor of the Korean War on 20 July. He saved the life of his patrol leader that day after the two had been separated from their platoon and were ambushed by a CCF patrol. After killing two enemy soldiers in the firefight, Collier ran out of ammunition. He then used his fists and bayonet to kill two of four Chinese soldiers trying to drag him away to captivity.

When his fellow soldiers later rescued him, Collier, who subsequently died of his wounds, told them with some of his last words, "I realized that my only chance for survival was to stand my ground and fight off the enemy."

He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions on 19-20 July 1953; he was also promoted to Sergeant. His nephew, Army Sergeant Russell Lee Collier, was KIA in Iraq on 3 October 2004 during Operation Iraqi Freedom and was awarded the Silver Star Medal. [Honoree Record ID 4708]

Medals, Awards and Badges

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
Republic of Korea War Service Medal
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Medal
Combat Infantryman Badge

Medal of Honor Citation

Sgt. Collier, a member of Company F, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. Sgt. Collier was pointman and assistant leader of a combat patrol committed to make contact with the enemy. As the patrol moved forward through the darkness, he and his commanding officer slipped and fell from a steep, 60-foot cliff and were injured. Incapacitated by a badly sprained ankle which prevented immediate movement, the officer ordered the patrol to return to the safety of friendly lines. Although suffering from a painful back injury, Sgt. Collier elected to remain with his leader, and before daylight they managed to crawl back up and over the mountainous terrain to the opposite valley where they concealed themselves in the brush until nightfall, then edged toward their company positions. Shortly after leaving the daylight retreat they were ambushed and, in the ensuing fire fight, Sgt. Collier killed 2 hostile soldiers, received painful wounds, and was separated from his companion. Then, ammunition expended, he closed in hand-to-hand combat with 4 attacking hostile infantrymen, killing, wounding, and routing the foe with his bayonet. He was mortally wounded during this action, but made a valiant attempt to reach and assist his leader in a desperate effort to save his comrade's life without regard for his own personal safety. Sgt. Collier's unflinching courage, consummate devotion to duty, and gallant self-sacrifice reflect lasting glory upon himself and uphold the noble traditions of the military service.

Rank and organization: Sergeant (then Corporal), U.S. Army, Company F, 223rd Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division
Place and date: Near Tutayon, Korea, 19-20 July 1953
General Order No.: 3, 12 January 1955


Sergeant Gilbert Georgie Collier is buried in DeWitt Cemetery, DeWitt, AR.

Honoree ID: 1142   Created by: MHOH




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