Marine Reserve Cpl. Duane Edgar Dewey, a Medal of Honor recipient of the Korean War, died in Saint Augustine, Florida, on Oct. 11 at age 89.
While serving with the 3rd Squad, Weapons Platoon, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Dewey was injured by an enemy grenade near Panmunjom, Korea, on April 16, 1952.
Despite already being injured in a night attack, Dewey took the full impact of a grenade that landed close to his unit’s position, shielding them from the blast after pulling his corpsman to the ground and warning other Marines of the impending explosion.
He was medevaced to Japan and later the United States. In total, his recovery recovery took 50 days, and he was relieved of active duty.
According to his Medal of Honor citation, Dewey was awarded the military’s highest honor “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a gunner in a machine-gun platoon of Company E, in action against enemy aggressor forces.”
On March 12, 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower placed it around Dewey’s neck, and said, “You must have a body of steel.”
Three living Medal of Honor recipients of the Korean War remain. Of the 147 awarded during the conflict, 108 were awarded posthumously, according to a release from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.