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First Name: Robert

Last Name: Reem

Birthplace: Lancaster, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Dale

Date of Birth: 20 October 1925

Date of Death: 06 November 1950

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Years Served: 1943 - 1950
Robert Dale Reem

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Robert Dale Reem
Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

Robert Dale Reem was born on 20 October 1925 in Lancaster, PA. He graduated from Elizabethtown High School in June 1943. During his final year of high school, he was a page in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from January to May 1943.

He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in August 1943, completed his recruit training at Parris Island, SC, in October and was selected for appointment to the Naval Academy at that time. He attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School at the Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, MD, before entering the Academy in June 1944.

He was commissioned a Marine Corps Second Lieutenant on 4 June 1948, upon his graduation from Annapolis. In June 1949, he completed the Basic School at Quantico, VA, where he remained with the Special Training Regiment until that August. In December 1949, after several months at Camp Lejeune, NC, with the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, he was assigned with that battalion to duty with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean.

In August 1950, the battalion was ordered to Korea, where it joined the 7th Marine Regiment, First Marine Division. 2Lt Reem fought with his battalion in the Inchon landing, the capture of Seoul, and the fighting in North Korea.

The 26-year-old Marine was commanding an infantry platoon near Chinhung-ni, North Korea, on 6 November 1950. He was preparing his men for an assault on an enemy position when a grenade landed among them. Without hesitation he smothered the grenade's explosion with his own body to save the rest of the group from death or serious injury. For his heroic self-sacrifice, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

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 as Platoon Commander in Company H, Third Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of Chinhung-ni, Korea, on 6 November 1950. Grimly determined to dislodge a group of heavy enemy infantry units occupying well-concealed and strongly fortified positions on commanding ground overlooking unprotected terrain, Second Lieutenant Reem moved slowly forward up the side of the ridge with his platoon in the face of a veritable hail of shattering hostile machine-gun, grenade and rifle fire. Three times repulsed by a resolute enemy force in achieving his objective, and pinned down by the continuing fury of hostile fire, he rallied and regrouped the heroic men in his depleted and disorganized platoon in preparation for a fourth attack. Issuing last-minute orders to his non-commissioned officers when an enemy grenade landed in a depression of rocky ground in which the group was standing. Second Lieutenant Reem unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and, springing upon the deadly missile, absorbed the full impact of the explosion in his own body, thus protecting others from serious injury and possible death, Stout-hearted and indomitable, he readily yielded his own chance of survival that his subordinate leaders might live decisiveness and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death reflect the highest credit upon Second Lieutenant Reem and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


The Medal of Honor was presented to his widow by Secretary of the Navy Daniel A. Kimball in ceremonies on 8 February 1952 in Washington, DC.

Other Medals and Awards

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Reem was awarded the following:

Purple Heart
Presidential Unit Citation (United States) with Bronze Star in lieu of second award
Korean Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal


As of 2010, he was the only NAPS graduate and, along with Baldomero Lopez, the latest graduates of the Naval Academy to receive a Medal of Honor. (Admiral Stockdale received one for Vietnam War service, but was a 1947 graduate.) Reem is memorialized at the US Naval Academy with a special dormitory room, the Reem room, with brass plaque.

Death and Burial

Second Lieutenant Robert Dale Reem was killed in action on 6 November 1950. He initially was buried in the United Nations Cemetery near Hamhung, North Korea. His body was later returned to the United States for burial at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. His grave can be found in Section 6, Grave 9376-B, Map Grid X/18.

Honoree ID: 1227   Created by: MHOH




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