By Katie Lange, DOD: Medal of Honor Monday: Marine Corps Col. William E. Barber
William Earl Barber (November 30, 1919 – April 19, 2002) was a United States Marine Corps colonel. He fought on Iwo Jima during World War II and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War.
Then Captain Barber and his company of 220 men held off more than 1,400 Chinese soldiers during six days of fighting in North Korea. Despite the extreme cold weather conditions and a bullet wound to the leg, Barber refused evacuation and an order for his company to withdraw from their mountain pass defensive position which was surrounded. Barber, aware that leaving would cause 8,000 Marines of his division to be trapped in North Korea, held on to the position with his men, killing over 1,000 enemy troops; only 82 of his men were able to walk away after eventually being relieved.
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