b. 26/08/1918 Washington, Indiana. d. 02/12/1950 Hagaru-ri, Korea.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 27/11 – 01/12/1950 Hagaru-ri, Korea.
Faith was born in Washington, Indiana on 26 August 1918, the son of Brigadier General Don Carlos Faith. He was found medically unfit for admission to United States Military Academy.
With America’s entry into the Second World War approaching, Congress passed the Selective Service Act. Don Faith was called in for his draft physical, but was rejected for the same dental disqualification that thwarted his admission to the United States Military Academy. However Faith was able to appeal the draft board’s decision, and he was inducted on June 25, 1941 following graduation from Georgetown University. After completion of Officer Candidate School, he was commissioned on February 26, 1942.
Lieutenant Faith was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division and spent the remainder of the war with the division. He served as both an aide to Brig. Gen. Matthew Ridgway and as a staff officer in the division. In addition to participating in all of the division’s combat jumps during the war in North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany, Faith was awarded two Bronze Stars and was promoted to Lt. Colonel on the Staff of General Maxwell Taylor.
After World War II, Faith served with the military mission in China until it was withdrawn. His next assignment was with the 7th Infantry Division in Japan as a battalion commander. When the war in Korea broke out during the summer of 1950, Faith and the 7th Infantry were sent to help stop the invasion of North Korea. Faith was the Commander of the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment. The 31st RCT was part of the force that pushed north with the objective of reaching the Yalu River. The 31st RCT was on the eastern bank of the Chosin Reservoir when the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) stage a massive attack on the night of November 27, 1950. This began the Battle of Chosin Reservoir that would last until December 13, 1950.
During a desperate drive south by convoy along the only road on December 1, the 31st Regimental Commander, Colonel Allan D. MacLean was killed and so the command of the entire regiment fell to Faith. Later the same day, Faith led an attack against a CCF roadblock where he was wounded by a fragmentation grenade. Faith was loaded into the cab of a 2 1/2-ton truck and with Pfc. Russell L. Barney driving it was the only truck to get through the last roadblock. As Barney was driving they were struck by small arms fire by the CCF at which time Faith was hit again and was killed. At some point Barney had to abandon the truck, leaving Faith’s body in the vehicle. Barney made it back to the safety of United Nations lines where he later reported his account. Like all the dead and wounded who were killed by the CCF and left with all the abandoned convoy vehicles, as none of the convoy vehicles made it to safety, Faith was listed as Missing in Action. His posthumous Medal of Honor was presented to his widow on 21 June 1951 at The Pentagon by General Omar N. Bradley.
Later Faith’s classification was changed to Killed in Action Body not Recovered. After 62 years in this classification, Faith’s remains were recovered near the Chosin Reservoir by a Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command (JPAC) field recovery team. His remains were identified through DNA and reported to the public by Defense Prisoner Of War – Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) on October 11, 2012. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on 17 April 2013 with full military honors.
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) Don Carlos Faith, Jr. (ASN: 0-46673), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty while Commanding the 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Hagaru-ri, (Chosin Reservoir) North Korea, from 27 November to 1 December 1950. When the enemy launched a fanatical attack against his battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Faith unhesitatingly exposed himself to heavy enemy fire as he moved about directing the action. When the enemy penetrated the positions, Lieutenant Colonel Faith personally led counterattacks to restore the position. During an attack by his battalion to effect a junction with another U.S. unit, Lieutenant Colonel Faith reconnoitered the route for, and personally directed, the first elements of his command across the ice-covered reservoir and then directed the movement of his vehicles which were loaded with wounded until all of his command had passed through the enemy fire. Having completed this he crossed the reservoir himself. Assuming command of the force his unit had joined he was given the mission of attacking to join friendly elements to the south. Lieutenant Colonel Faith, although physically exhausted in the bitter cold, organized and launched an attack which was soon stopped by enemy fire. He ran forward under enemy small-arms and automatic weapons fire, got his men on their feet and personally led the fire attack as it blasted its way through the enemy ring. As they came to a hairpin curve, enemy fire from a roadblock again pinned the column down. Lieutenant Colonel Faith organized a group of men and directed their attack on the enemy positions on the right flank. He then placed himself at the head of another group of men and in the face of direct enemy fire led an attack on the enemy roadblock, firing his pistol and throwing grenades. When he had reached a position approximately 30 yards from the roadblock he was mortally wounded, but continued to direct the attack until the roadblock was overrun. Throughout the five days of action Lieutenant Colonel Faith gave no thought to his safety and did not spare himself. His presence each time in the position of greatest danger was an inspiration to his men. Also, the damage he personally inflicted firing from his position at the head of his men was of material assistance on several occasions. Lieutenant Colonel Faith’s outstanding gallantry and noble self-sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty reflect the highest honor on him and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.
BURIAL LOCATION: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.
SECTION 4, LOT 3016
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.