Wolfhound Warrior


A repost from the past. Roamy alerted me that today is the 61st anniversary of the battle that earned COL Millett the Medal of Honor. Just one of several Wolfhounds over the years have earned.

 

I just found out a bit of sad news (from Neptunus Lex of all places).

COL (USA, Ret) Lewis L. Millet, Medal of Honor, passed on November 14th, 2009.  COL Millet, as a Captain, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on February 7, 1951 in Korea:

Capt. Millett, Company E, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. While personally leading his company in an attack against a strongly held position he noted that the 1st Platoon was pinned down by small-arms, automatic, and antitank fire. Capt. Millett ordered the 3d Platoon forward, placed himself at the head of the 2 platoons, and, with fixed bayonet, led the assault up the fire-swept hill. In the fierce charge Capt. Millett bayoneted 2 enemy soldiers and boldly continued on, throwing grenades, clubbing and bayoneting the enemy, while urging his men forward by shouting encouragement. Despite vicious opposing fire, the whirlwind hand-to-hand assault carried to the crest of the hill. His dauntless leadership and personal courage so inspired his men that they stormed into the hostile position and used their bayonets with such lethal effect that the enemy fled in wild disorder. During this fierce onslaught Capt. Millett was wounded by grenade fragments but refused evacuation until the objective was taken and firmly secured. The superb leadership, conspicuous courage, and consummate devotion to duty demonstrated by Capt. Millett were directly responsible for the successful accomplishment of a hazardous mission and reflect the highest credit on himself and the heroic traditions of the military service.

While I was stationed in Hawaii, I was privileged to be assigned to the 1st Battalion, 27th US Infantry, The Wolfhounds.  The Wolfhounds are a very proud unit, considering they have a relatively short history. The regiment was only formed in 1902, but quickly acquired a reputation as a “can-do” unit. In addition to service in Siberia immediately after the Russian Revolution, the Wolfhounds, as part of the 25th Division, served with great distinction during WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and now in Iraq.

Many units in the Army pay lip service to their heritage. The Wolfhounds live it. One program we had was making sure there was a real connection from the past to the present. Several times while I was in Hawaii, we hosted COL Millet to unit functions.  There were some semi-formal events, dinners and such. But the real benefit was having “Lew” come out and just spend time with us as we went about our training. We tend to elevate our heroes up onto a pedestal. But by meeting and talking with Lew Millet, many young troops had chance to meet a real hero, and see that he was human. Each of us could, if not guarantee that we would perform to his level of valor and gallantry, at least aspire to it.

Rest in peace, COL Millet.

About these ads

5 Comments

Filed under army, ARMY TRAINING, guns, history, infantry, iraq, Personal, war

5 responses to “Wolfhound Warrior

  1. I was fascinated that that battle was the last recorded bayonet charge in the Army.

    What a honor to meet COL Millet.

  2. Hayabusa

    Xbradtc, when were you in 1/27? I was there from ’92-’95.

    • I was there 86-87. Right as we transitioned from regular to “Light” infantry.

      They really stacked the deck. All company commanders had served in a Ranger Battalion, the platoon leaders were all recruiting posters, the platoon sergeants were all Ranger tabbed, and a large percentage had come from the Rangers. And there was a fair percentage of folks with CIBs from either Vietnam or Grenada.

      The only problem was, as those folks rotated out, there wasn’t a pool of talent to replace them with, and a more…. average… leadership replaced them.

  3. Hayabusa

    Also, COL Millett was the guest of honor at my ROTC battalion’s commissioning ceremony, about forever ago. Very inspirational speaker, and inspirational guy. RIP, and Yeah, Wolfhounds!

  4. Hayabusa

    Cool. That was definitely before my time. Serving in the Wolfhounds was definitely the highlight of my short and very unglorious Army career.

    As to COL Millett, that guy had a truly incredible life story. IIRC, he was serving in the U.S. Army before the U.S. entered World War II. Impatient to get into the fight, he deserted and joined the Canadian Army. After the U.S. entered the war, he transferred back to the U.S. Army.

    WWII, Korea, Vietnam… received just about every award for valor it’s possible to receive.

    His son, a SSG in the 101st, died in that plane crash in Gander, coming back from the Sinai deployment. COL Millett never believed the official explanation that it was an accident, and always insisted that it was a terrorist attack.

    Hollywood could make a hell of a movie about COL Millett’s life…. that is, if Hollywood was still in the business of making movies about American heroes, rather than garbage like “Redacted” and “In The Valley of Elah”, etc.

    Thanks for writing about COL Millett. Long one of my personal heroes.