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First Name: Carl

Last Name: Sitter

Birthplace: Syracuse, MO, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Pueblo, CO
Middle Name: Leonard

Date of Birth: 02 December 1922

Date of Death: 04 April 2000

Rank: Colonel

Years Served: 1940-1970
Carl Leonard Sitter

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


Carl Leonard Sitter
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

Carl Leonard Sitter was born on 2 December 1922 in Syracuse, MO, but grew up in Pueblo, CO. Upon graduating from Pueblo's Central High School, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on 22 June 1940. He served for eight months in Iceland, then was ordered to the Pacific area. He was serving as a Corporal in the Wallis Islands when, on 12 December 1942, he was given a field commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve. He later received a regular commission.

Sitter saw combat on Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands, and Guam in the Marianas. He was first wounded on 20 February 1944 on Eniwetok, but went back into action almost immediately.

He was wounded again the following July on Guam, during the action in which he earned the Silver Star. The situation was similar, though on a smaller scale, to the one in which he earned the Medal of Honor: he exposed himself to enemy fire to lead his rifle platoon, and when wounded, refused to be evacuated until his mission was accomplished.

Captain Sitter was awarded the Medal of Honor for leadership during a two-day battle at Hagaru-ri, Korea. In the bitter fighting between the Chinese Communists and the surrounded U.N. forces near the Chosin Reservoir in November 1950, Captain Sitter was wounded by hand grenades, but continued to lead his men until he repulsed a counterattack. He is one of four Medal of Honor recipients from Pueblo, CO, the others being William J. Crawford, Drew Dennis Dix, and Raymond G. Murphy.

He retired from active duty on 30 June 1970, after reaching the rank of Colonel in the Marine Corps.

Medal of Honor

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR 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 Commanding Officer of Company G, Third Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces at Hagaru-ri, Korea, on 29 and 30 November 1950. Ordered to break through enemy-infested territory to reinforce his Battalion the early morning of 29 November, Captain Sitter continuously exposed himself to enemy fire as he led his company forward and, despite twenty-five percent casualties suffered in the furious action, succeeded in driving through to his objective. Assuming the responsibility of attempting to seize and occupy a strategic area occupied by a hostile force of regiment strength deeply entrenched on a snow-covered hill commanding the entire valley southeast of the town, as well as the line of march of friendly troops withdrawing to the south, he reorganized his depleted units the following morning and boldly led them up the steep, frozen hillside under blistering fire, encouraging and redeploying his troops as casualties occurred and directing forward platoons as they continued the drive to the top of the ridge. During the night when a vastly outnumbering enemy launched a sudden, vicious counterattack, setting the hill ablaze with mortar, machine-gun, and automatic weapons fire and taking a heavy toll in troops, Captain Sitter visited each foxhole and gun position, coolly deploying and integrating reinforcing units consisting of service personnel unfamiliar with infantry tactics into a coordinated combat team and instilling in every man the will and determination to hold his position at all costs. With the enemy penetrating his lines in repeated counterattacks which often required hand-to-hand combat and, on one occasion infiltrating to the command post with hand grenades, he fought gallantly with his men in repulsing and killing the fanatic attackers in each encounter. Painfully wounded in the face, arms and chest by bursting grenades, he staunchly refused to be evacuated and continued to fight on until a successful defense of the area was assured with a loss to the enemy of more than fifty percent dead, wounded and captured. His valiant leadership, superb tactics and great personal valor throughout thirty-six hours of bitter combat reflect the highest credit upon Captain Sitter, and the United States Naval Service.


Other Medals and Awards

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

Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit
Purple Heart with 2 Gold Stars in lieu of second and third awards
Presidential Unit Citations (2)
Navy Unit Commendations (2)
Good Conduct Medal
American Defense Service Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal with 1 Bronze Star
Korean Service Medal with 4 Bronze Stars
United Nations Service Medal
Chungmu Medal with Silver Star from the Republic of Korea
Korean Presidential Unit Citation (2)


Colonel Sitter was honored as one of seven grand marshals of the 1952 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Colonel Sitter is one of four soldiers depicted in a sculpture at the Pueblo Medal of Honor Memorial.

Later Life

After 30 years in the Marine Corps, Sitter went to work for the Virginia Department of Social Services. He retired in 1985 at age 63.

In 1998, at age 75, Sitter returned to college, graduating on 28 May 1999 at age 77.

Death and Burial

Colonel Carl Leonard Sitter died on 4 April 2000 in Richmond, VA. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 1238   Created by: MHOH




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