John Upshur Dennis Page MOH

b. 08/02/1904 Malahi Island, Luzon, Philippines. d. 10/12/1950 Korea.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 29/11/1950 near Choisin Reservoir, Korea.

John U D Page MOH

Page was born in 1904 in the U.S.-governed Philippines, but he grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. His dream of attending West Point was thwarted by poor eyesight, so he went to Princeton instead, where he graduated in 1926 with an engineering degree and an ROTC commission.

Page served in World War II, where he commanded an artillery battalion in Germany. In 1950, he received orders to teach at the prestigious Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, but he requested a combat role instead. So, off to Korea he went, serving with the 52nd Transportation Truck Battalion, X Corps Artillery, which commanded the 1st Marine Division at the time.

Page was in Korea for only two weeks, but his actions during the decisive Battle of Chosin Reservoir were so incredible that the Marines with whom he served recommended him for the Navy Cross — an honor that only two other Army recipients earned in Korea.

Here’s how the battle broke out: In late November 1950, Chinese forces infiltrated northeastern North Korea and surprised the X Corps at the reservoir. Massively outnumbered, the U.S. and United Nations troops in that area were surrounded and attacked over the span of 17 days. On November 29, 1950, Page left X Corps Artillery Headquarters at the port city of Hamhung in North Korea to set up traffic control on the main supply route north to the reservoir’s plateau, where the trapped troops were. He could have returned to the safety of Hamhung, but he decided to stay on the plateau to help the troops.

During 10 days of constant fighting on the plateau, Page did the following:
1. Rescued a fellow soldier after breaking up an ambush.
2. Reached the line of a surrounded Marine garrison and voluntarily developed and trained a reserve force of Army troops trapped with them, turning them into an effective tactical unit.
3. At a makeshift airstrip partially outside their heavily attacked perimeter, Page put himself in the line of fire so he could direct counterfire. He also twice manned the machine gun on the back of a tank to further drive away the enemy.
4. While being flown low over enemy lines in a light observation plane, Page dropped hand grenades on Chinese positions and sprayed their foxholes with gunfire.

After those 10 days, the troops had succeeded in gathering at the edge of the plateau. Page flew back to Hamhung to get artillery support for them. Once again, he could have stayed where it was safe, but he went back to help his beleaguered comrades.

As the troops slowly moved south through a narrow pass on their way to safety, Page joined the guards in the rear. Enemy attacks were frequent, so he went out several times into the open and used machine guns to return fire until the danger diminished. On the night of December 10, the convoy had made it to the bottom of the pass but was stopped by the enemy, which surrounded them on three sides, spraying them with guns. Realizing how dangerous this was for the whole column, Page fought his way to the front and into the heart of the hostilities. He fought fiercely by himself until he was mortally wounded.

At the end of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, United Nations forces were finally able to break through the surrounding Chinese troops and fight their way back to Hamhung. They were eventually evacuated, marking the complete withdrawal of U.N. troops from North Korea. Page’s valiant and aggressive spirit went above and beyond the call of duty. His actions surprised the Chinese so much that they fell into disarray, causing several casualties and allowing his troops to fend them off. For that, he posthumously was awarded the Medal of Honor. The Medal was presented to his widow, Margaret, on December 19, 1956 at Fort Meyer, Virginia, by the Secretary of the Army, William M. Brucknet.

Camp Page, a former U.S. base in Korea, was named in his honor. It closed down in 2005, but a Navy Military Sealift Command ship, the MV LTC John U.D. Page, continues to carry his name and legacy.



Lt. Col. Page, a member of X Corps Artillery, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty in a series of exploits. On 29 November, Lt. Col. Page left X Corps Headquarters at Hamhung with the mission of establishing traffic control on the main supply route to 1st Marine Division positions and those of some Army elements on the Chosin Reservoir plateau. Having completed his mission Lt. Col. Page was free to return to the safety of Hamhung but chose to remain on the plateau to aid an isolated signal station, thus being cut off with elements of the marine division. After rescuing his jeep driver by breaking up an ambush near a destroyed bridge, Lt. Col. Page reached the lines of a surrounded marine garrison at Koto-ri. He then voluntarily developed and trained a reserve force of assorted army troops trapped with the marines. By exemplary leadership and tireless devotion he made an effective tactical unit available. In order that casualties might be evacuated, an airstrip was improvised on frozen ground partly outside of the Koto-ri defense perimeter which was continually under enemy attack. During two such attacks, Lt. Col. Page exposed himself on the airstrip to direct fire on the enemy and twice mounted the rear deck of a tank, manning the machine gun on the turret to drive the enemy back into a no man’s land. On 3 December while being flown low over enemy lines in a light observation plane, Lt. Col. Page dropped hand grenades on Chinese positions and sprayed foxholes with automatic fire from his carbine. After 10 days of constant fighting the marine and army units in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir had succeeded in gathering at the edge of the plateau and Lt. Col. Page was flown to Hamhung to arrange for artillery support of the beleaguered troops attempting to break out. Again Lt. Col. Page refused an opportunity to remain in safety and returned to give every assistance to his comrades. As the column slowly moved south Lt. Col. Page joined the rear guard. When it neared the entrance to a narrow pass it came under frequent attacks on both flanks. Mounting an abandoned tank Lt. Col. Page manned the machine gun, braved heavy return fire, and covered the passing vehicles until the danger diminished. Later when another attack threatened his section of the convoy, then in the middle of the pass, Lt. Col. Page took a machine gun to the hillside and delivered effective counterfire, remaining exposed while men and vehicles passed through the ambuscade. On the night of 10 December the convoy reached the bottom of the pass but was halted by a strong enemy force at the front and on both flanks. Deadly small-arms fire poured into the column. Realizing the danger to the column as it lay motionless, Lt. Col. Page fought his way to the head of the column and plunged forward into the heart of the hostile position. His intrepid action so surprised the enemy that their ranks became disordered and suffered heavy casualties. Heedless of his safety, as he had been throughout the preceding 10 days, Lt. Col. Page remained forward, fiercely engaging the enemy singlehandedly until mortally wounded. By his valiant and aggressive spirit Lt. Col. Page enabled friendly forces to stand off the enemy. His outstanding courage, unswerving devotion to duty, and supreme self-sacrifice reflect great credit upon Lt. Col. Page and are in the highest tradition of the military service.