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First Name: John

Last Name: Kelly

Birthplace: Youngstown, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Pittsburgh, PA
Middle Name: Doran

Date of Birth: 08 July 1928

Date of Death: 28 May 1952

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1951-1952
John Doran Kelly

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


John Doran Kelly
Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

John Doran Kelly was born 8 July 1928, in Youngstown, OH. A short time later, his family moved to Homestead, PA, where he attended grade school and high school. He graduated from high school in 1947, and was attending Arizona State College, prior to entering the U.S. Marine Corps.

He left college during the Korean War and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in August 1951, at Pittsburgh, PA. Following his initial training at Parris Island, SC, he was transferred to Camp Pendleton for further training prior to joining the First Marine Division in Korea.

Private First Class John Doran Kelly was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions on 28 May 1952 against Communist forces in Korea. Kelly was mortally wounded during his act of heroism.

Medal of Honor

The President of the United States 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 Radio Operator of Company C, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 28 May 1952. With his platoon pinned down by a numerically superior enemy force employing intense mortar, artillery, small-arms and grenade fire, Private First Class Kelly requested permission to leave his radio in the care of another man and to participate in an assault on enemy key positions. Fearlessly charging forward in the face of a murderous hail of machine-gun fire and hand grenades, he initiated a daring attack against a hostile strongpoint and personally neutralized the position, killing two of the enemy. Unyielding in the face of heavy odds, he continued forward and singlehandedly assaulted a machine-gun bunker. Although painfully wounded, he bravely charged the bunker and destroyed it, killing three of the enemy. Courageously continuing his one-man assault, he again stormed forward in a valiant attempt to wipe out a third bunker and boldly delivered point-blank fire into the aperture of the hostile emplacement. Mortally wounded by enemy fire while carrying out his heroic action, Private First Class Kelly, by his great personal valor and aggressive fighting spirit, inspired his comrades to sweep on, overrun and secure the objective. His extraordinary heroism in the face of almost certain death reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


Other Medals

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Kelly was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.

Death and Burial

Private First Class John Doran Kelly was killed in action on 28 May 1952. He is buried at Jefferson Memorial Park in Pleasant Hills, Allegheny County, PA, in Section 20, Lot 319.

Honoree ID: 1183   Created by: MHOH




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