USS DE WERT FFG-45
is the first ship to bear his name
Daring, Dauntless, Defiant
13 June 1996
Richard De Wert
Richard De Wert was born in Tauton, Massachusetts on 17 November, 1931. He enlisted in the U.S. navy on 2 December
1948 in Boston. After basic training, he attended the U.S. Naval Hospital Corps School.
On 28 July 1950, Hospitalman De Wert joined the 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Division, FMF, at Camp Pendleton,
California, which deployed to Korea. On 17 December, he landed at Inchon and assisted in the activation of the Division
Hospital. Within a fortnight he took part in the liberation of Seoul, the South Korean Capital.
On 6 March 1951, after participation in several combat operations, De wert was transferred to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine
Regiment, where for his actions he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Hell Breaks Loose in The Land of the Morning Calm
It's April 5, 1951 and Dog Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines has just crossed the 38th Parrallel above Hoengsong. The units
objectivei1s Hill 439. At approximately 1000 hours a fire team from the Company's point platoon is pinned down with heavy and accurate
automatic weapons fire.
"Pleas of 'Corpsman' came from everywhere". Hospitalman Richard De Wert ran to the first call, a seriously injured rifleman,
only to be shot in the leg, he dragged the wounded Marine to safety and ran, limping, to the aid of another Marine. Throwing the
man over his shoulder, he zigged and zagged his way through the bullets to safety.
"Gasping" to catch his breath and with his leg throbbing, De Wert could hear more calls for help. He was up again and dodging
bullets on the run. He reached another Marine only to find him dead, and received a bullet in his shoulder as a reward. He heard
another call, tired out of breath, and losing blood from his wounds De Wert was up again to a fourth Marine. As he attempted to
treat the wounded Marine, HC De Wert fell dead, killed by enemy fire. It was one of the most selfless acts of heroism a man can
commit and won him the Medal of Honor.
Fred Frankville, John Alseth, and Robert Gentry witnessed De Werts heroism and Fred made the recommendation to Lee Wimpee
(Third Platoon Leader) that a Medal of Honor be awarded to De Wert. Lee wrote up the citation and passed it on to Al Mackin (Company
Commander) who authorized it. The recommedation was then forwarded to Headquarters Marine Corps.