Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: William

Last Name: Lyell

Birthplace: Hickman County, TN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Old Hickory, TN
Middle Name: Franklin

Date of Birth: 14 February 1929

Date of Death: 31 August 1951

Rank: Corporal

Years Served: 1950 - 1951
William Franklin Lyell

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


William Franklin Lyell
Corporal, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

William Franklin Lyell was born on 14 February 1929 in Hickman County, TN. He was a Corporal in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions on 31 August 1951.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company F, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division

Place and date: Near Chup'a-ri, Korea, 31 August 1951

Entered service at: Old Hickory, TN

G.O. No.: 4, 9 January 1953


Cpl. Lyell, a member of Company F, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. When his platoon leader was killed, Cpl. Lyell assumed command and led his unit in an assault on strongly fortified enemy positions located on commanding terrain. When his platoon came under vicious, raking fire which halted the forward movement, Cpl. Lyell seized a 57mm. recoilless rifle and unhesitatingly moved ahead to a suitable firing position from which he delivered deadly accurate fire completely destroying an enemy bunker, killing its occupants. He then returned to his platoon and was resuming the assault when the unit was again subjected to intense hostile fire from 2 other bunkers. Disregarding his personal safety, armed with grenades he charged forward hurling grenades into 1 of the enemy emplacements, and although painfully wounded in this action he pressed on destroying the bunker and killing 6 of the foe. He then continued his attack against a third enemy position, throwing grenades as he ran forward, annihilating 4 enemy soldiers. He then led his platoon to the north slope of the hill where positions were occupied from which effective fire was delivered against the enemy in support of friendly troops moving up. Fearlessly exposing himself to enemy fire, he continuously moved about directing and encouraging his men until he was mortally wounded by enemy mortar fire. Cpl. Lyell's extraordinary heroism, indomitable courage, and aggressive leadership reflect great credit on himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.

Other Medals

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

Death and Burial

Corporal William Franklin Lyell was killed in action on 31 August 1951. He is buried at Nashville National Cemetery in Nashville, Davidson County, TN.

Honoree ID: 1198   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image