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First Name: Einar

Last Name: Ingman

Birthplace: Milwaukee, WI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Tomahawk, WI
Middle Name: Harold

Date of Birth: 06 October 1929

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served:
Einar Harold Ingman, Jr.

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Einar Harold Ingman, Jr.
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

Einar Harold Ingman, Jr. was born on 6 October 1929, in Milwaukee, WI, and grew up on a farm. He joined the U.S. Army from Tomahawk, WI, hoping to work with heavy machinery, but instead served as an infantryman.

On 26 February 1951, he was a Corporal serving with Company E, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, in Korea. On that day, near the town of Malta-ri, he was among two squads of men tasked with assaulting a fortified ridge-top position. When both squad leaders were wounded, Ingman combined the squads and took command. After making a radio call for artillery and tank support, he led his soldiers against the position, encouraging them and directing their fire.

He single-handedly attacked a machine gun which was firing on his group, tossing a hand grenade into the emplacement and killing the crew with his rifle. While approaching a second machine gun, he was knocked to the ground and lost part of his left ear when a grenade exploded near his head. As he got to his feet, he was shot in the face by a Chinese soldier; the bullet entered his upper lip and exited behind his ear. He continued his attack on the machine gun, firing his rifle and killing the remaining crew with his bayonet, until falling unconscious. His men went on to capture their objective and force the opposing troops into a disorganized retreat.

Evacuated to Tokyo, Japan, for medical treatment, Ingman regained consciousness seven days later. His left eye was destroyed, his left ear was deaf, and he had suffered a brain injury which rendered him a complete amnesiac, unable to recall his own name. After having emergency brain surgery, his memories slowly returned, although he never regained any memory of being shot or of the events which immediately followed, and has had continued memory trouble for the rest of his life. Sent to Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, MI, for further treatment, he spent the next two years undergoing twenty-three surgeries.

Medal of Honor

In mid-1951, Ingman, recently promoted to Sergeant, was flown from his hospital to Washington, DC, where President Harry Truman formally presented him with the Medal of Honor on 5 July. Upon arriving home in Tomahawk, the townspeople gave him a new house and boat during a celebration of his return.

Ingman's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

Sgt. Ingman, a member of Company E, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. The 2 leading squads of the assault platoon of his company, while attacking a strongly fortified ridge held by the enemy, were pinned down by withering fire and both squad leaders and several men were wounded. Cpl. Ingman assumed command, reorganized and combined the 2 squads, then moved from 1 position to another, designating fields of fire and giving advice and encouragement to the men. Locating an enemy machine gun position that was raking his men with devastating fire he charged it alone, threw a grenade into the position, and killed the remaining crew with rifle fire. Another enemy machine gun opened fire approximately 15 yards away and inflicted additional casualties to the group and stopped the attack. When Cpl. Ingman charged the second position he was hit by grenade fragments and a hail of fire which seriously wounded him about the face and neck and knocked him to the ground. With incredible courage and stamina, he arose instantly and, using only his rifle, killed the entire gun crew before falling unconscious from his wounds. As a result of the singular action by Cpl. Ingman the defense of the enemy was broken, his squad secured its objective, and more than 100 hostile troops abandoned their weapons and fled in disorganized retreat. Cpl. Ingman's indomitable courage, extraordinary heroism, and superb leadership reflect the highest credit on himself and are in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the infantry and the U.S. Army.

Other Medals

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Sergeant Ingman was awarded the Purple Heart.

Post-War Life

One year after receiving the Medal of Honor, Ingman married; he and his wife, Mardelle, went on to have seven children. The couple attended numerous government and military-related events through the years, including eleven presidential inaugurations and several trips to Korea.

Ingman suffered a stroke in 2003 and now has difficulty communicating. He currently lives in Irma, WI, just south of Tomahawk.

Honoree ID: 1175   Created by: MHOH




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