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First Name: Joseph

Last Name: Ouellette

Birthplace: Lowell, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Lowell, MA
Middle Name: R.

Date of Birth: 09 May 1930

Date of Death: 03 September 1950

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served:
Joseph R. Ouellette

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Joseph R. Ouellette
Private First Class, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

Joseph R. Ouellette was born 9 May 1930, in Lowell, MA. He was a Private First Class in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions on 31 August to 3 September 1950.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company H, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division

Place and date: Near Yongsan, Korea, from 31 August to 3 September 1950

G.O. No.: 25, 25 April 1951


Pfc. Ouellette distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy in the Makioug-Chang River salient. When an enemy assault cut off and surrounded his unit he voluntarily made a reconnaissance of a nearby hill under intense enemy fire to locate friendly troop positions and obtain information of the enemy's strength and location. Finding that friendly troops were not on the hill, he worked his way back to his unit under heavy fire. Later, when an airdrop of water was made outside the perimeter, he again braved enemy fire in an attempt to retrieve water for his unit. Finding the dropped cans broken and devoid of water, he returned to his unit. His heroic attempt greatly increased his comrades' morale. When ammunition and grenades ran low, Pfc. Ouellette again slipped out of the perimeter to collect these from the enemy dead. After collecting grenades he was attacked by an enemy soldier. He killed this enemy in hand-to-hand combat, gathered up the ammunition, and returned to his unit. When the enemy attacked on 3 September, they assaulted his position with grenades. On 6 occasions Pfc. Ouellette leaped from his foxhole to escape exploding grenades. In doing so, he had to face enemy small-arms fire. He continued his resistance, despite a severe wound, until he lost his life. The extraordinary heroism and intrepidity displayed by Pfc. Ouellette reflect the highest credit on himself and are in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the military service.

Other Medals

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


The US Army named an outpost, Observation Post Ouellette after him, in the Korean DMZ near to the Joint Security Area.

Death and Burial

PFC Joseph R. Ouellette was killed in action on 3 September 1950. He is buried at Saint Josephs Cemetery in Chelmsford, Middlesex County, MA.

Honoree ID: 1216   Created by: MHOH




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