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First Name: Charles

Last Name: Long

Birthplace: Kansas City, MO, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Kansas City, MO
Middle Name: Richard

Date of Birth: 10 December 1923

Date of Death: 12 February 1951

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Years Served: 1941 - 1951
Charles Richard Long

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Charles Richard "Buddy" Long
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

The Early Years

Charles Richard Long was born on 10 December 1923, in Kansas City, MO, the middle child of Fritz and Lois Long. He had an older brother, Robert, and a younger sister, Edith. He went by his middle name, but his immediate family referred to him as "Buddy." Growing up in the Mount Washington area of Independence, Long delivered newspapers for The Kansas City Star, worked for the Fairmount Inter-City News, and sold sodas at a bus station. His family was poor and took in boarders for extra money. After graduating from Kansas City's Northeast High School in 1941, he joined the U.S. Army like his brother, Robert.

Military Service

During World War II, Long served in Europe and participated in the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944-1945. He remained in the Army Reserve after the war until being recalled to active duty at the outbreak of hostilities in Korea.

On 12 February 1951, he was serving in Korea as a Sergeant with Company M of the 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. In the early morning hours of that day, on Hill 300 near Hoengseong, he was acting as a forward observer for the company's mortar platoon when they came under attack by a numerically superior force. Although ordered to withdraw, Long voluntarily stayed at his advance post, holding off the enemy with his carbine and hand grenades while continuing to direct mortar fire via radio. His last radio message stated that he was out of ammunition and called for a 40-round mortar strike near his position. He was surrounded and killed soon after. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor a year later on 1 February 1952. The medal was presented to his family by President Harry S. Truman.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division

Place and date: Near Hoengsong, Korea, 12 February 1951

Long's official citation reads:

Sgt. Long, a member of Company M, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations. When Company M, in a defensive perimeter on Hill 300, was viciously attacked by a numerically superior hostile force at approximately 0300 hours and ordered to withdraw, Sgt. Long, a forward observer for the mortar platoon, voluntarily remained at his post to provide cover by directing mortar fire on the enemy. Maintaining radio contact with his platoon, Sgt. Long coolly directed accurate mortar fire on the advancing foe. He continued firing his carbine and throwing handgrenades until his position was surrounded and he was mortally wounded. Sgt. Long's inspirational, valorous action halted the onslaught, exacted a heavy toll of enemy casualties, and enabled his company to withdraw, reorganize, counterattack, and regain the hill strongpoint. His unflinching courage and noble self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit on himself and are in keeping with the honored traditions of the military service.

Medals, Awards & Badges

Medal of Honor
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
American Theater Campaign Medal
European, African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
Republic of Korea War Service Medal
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Combat Infantryman Badge - 2nd Award - WWII & Korea


Several military facilities have been named in Long's honor. These include:

The U.S. Army's Camp Long near Wonju, South Korea.

The Charles R. Long Army Reserve Center in Independence.

Also in Independence is the Truman Memorial Building, which holds a display in memory of Long.

In July 2010, a bridge on U.S. Route 24 in the Fairmount area of Independence, not far from Long's childhood home, was renamed the Sgt. Charles R. Long Memorial Bridge.

Death and Burial

Staff Sergeant Charles Richard Long was 27 years old when he was killed in action on 12 February 1951. Long is buried at Mount Washington Cemetery Independence, MO, in the Garden of Valor Section, next to Toohey and Burr.

Honoree ID: 1195   Created by: MHOH




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