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Subdeacon Joe

On The Subject of "Bad A$$"

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Citation
Sgt. Bleak, a member of the medical company, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. As a medical aidman, he volunteered to accompany a reconnaissance patrol committed to engage the enemy and capture a prisoner for interrogation. Forging up the rugged slope of the key terrain, the group was subjected to intense automatic weapons and small arms fire and suffered several casualties. After administering to the wounded, he continued to advance with the patrol. Nearing the military crest of the hill, while attempting to cross the fire-swept area to attend the wounded, he came under hostile fire from a small group of the enemy concealed in a trench. Entering the trench he closed with the enemy, killed 2 with bare hands and a third with his trench knife. Moving from the emplacement, he saw a concussion grenade fall in front of a companion and, quickly shifting his position, shielded the man from the impact of the blast. Later, while ministering to the wounded, he was struck by a hostile bullet but, despite the wound, he undertook to evacuate a wounded comrade. As he moved down the hill with his heavy burden, he was attacked by 2 enemy soldiers with fixed bayonets. Closing with the aggressors, he grabbed them and smacked their heads together, then carried his helpless comrade down the hill to safety. Sgt. Bleak's dauntless courage and intrepid actions reflect utmost credit upon himself and are in keeping with the honored traditions of the military service.

 

 

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It isn't very often you read, "...he grabbed them and smacked their heads together..." in an official award citation...
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On June 14, 1952, Sergeant David B. Bleak volunteered his skills as a medic to accompany a recon patrol. As they ascended a hill under cover of darkness, enemy machine guns opened up, wounding soldiers at the head of the column. Sgt Bleak rushed forward to treat them. Three more Chinese opened up from a nearby trench, wounding another. Bleak charged directly through the fire and jumped into the enemy position. The 6'5", 250 pound medic snatched the nearest Chinese soldier and snapped his neck. When the second approached, Bleak simply grabbed him by the throat and crushed his trachea. Bleak unsheathed his knife and stabbed the third one to death. He returned to treating the wounded until a grenade bounced off the helmet of the man next to him. Bleak tackled the man, smothering him with his huge body and protecting him from the blast. Neither were injured.
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The patrol successfully captured several prisoners. As they descended the hill, the enemy ambushed them once again. Three more Americans went down. Sgt Bleak was shot in the leg attempting to reach them. He dressed his own wounds and those of the three soldiers, one too injured to walk. Despite his leg wound, Bleak heaved the soldier onto his shoulder and continued down the hill. Two more Chinese soldiers suddenly appeared before him with fixed bayonets. Bleak dropped the wounded man, grabbed one Chinese head in each hand, and smashed them together, fracturing both men's skulls. Bleak let their limp bodies fall out of his way then picked up his wounded comrade again. All 20 members of the patrol returned alive to friendly lines.
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For his incredible, fearless actions saving the patrol, Sgt Bleak was awarded the Medal of Honor. At its presentation, President Eisenhower struggled to reach around Bleak's large frame to fasten the ribbon.
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"You have a damned big neck!"

 

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Joe, Thank you for the post. What a man he was.

 

If you haven't already seen it, I think you would enjoy the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

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1 minute ago, Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217 said:

Joe, Thank you for the post. What a man he was.

 

If you haven't already seen it, I think you would enjoy the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

 

Thanks. Miss Allie.  I have.   I  did. 

 

Amazing the abuse that COs who join, or are drafted, have to endure. And the courage and tenacity the Docs show in protecting "their" soldiers,  sailors, airmen, and Marines.

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:FlagAm:

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Wow!  He was one bad dude!

 

Red Wolf

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Wow! We need someone like that now!

 

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Bet Mister Bleak's wife didn't argue with him.  :D

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1 hour ago, Matthew Duncan said:

Bet Mister Bleak's wife didn't argue with him.  :D


 That’s because he knew better than to get on her bad side. ;)

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I've read a bunch of Medal of Honor and Victoria Cross citations, but I've never read one like that.  Granted 6'5" and 250 pounds is big by anybody's standards, but Sgt Bleak must have been extremely strong in addition to being big.

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On 6/16/2020 at 9:22 AM, Sedalia Dave said:


 That’s because he knew better than to get on her bad side. ;)

My red headed Mama was collar bone tall on me, and I was two fingers taller than me dear Pappy.
I could span her waist with my hands, touch my thumbs together in front and my middle fingertips just touched at her spine.
I one time wrapped my arms around her and patted her on the head and said "Nice little Mini-Mommy."
She cocked a fist and snarled "Shut up or I'll punch you right in the kneecap!"
Mama was short, Mama was skinny, and somewhere there is the picture of my father, my brother and myself, shoulder to shoulder:  three red bearded Celtic giants, and before us, skinny little Mama, smiling shyly for the camera, wearing her Eastern Star gown.
It was the perfect illustration of how skinny little Mama kept her broad shouldered, oil field family of red bearded, Celtic giants, in line ... and made it look easy!
I would respectfully submit that Mrs. Bleak was most likely a ladylike and soft spoken woman of surprising skill and ability!

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Somewhere recently (coincidentally), I read Sgt. Bleak’s MOH Citation and I smiled in pride for him, his heroic actions, and those of the other 19 men in his patrol....a mission which doubtfully would have been successful if not for him and his spot-on critical role in the mission.

 

And, don’t forget:

Sgt. Bleak, apparently at the last minute, volunteered to accompany the patrol, throwing himself into the action and unhesitatingly ignoring the danger to himself (wherein he was wounded), by quickly making his way to his fellow wounded patrol members, to treat their wounds and his own, while simultaneously engaging the enemy..  God help those wounded if he had not been there.  All twenty men came back alive.
 

Big job, big responsibility, big soldier; he recognized a gap in mission support requirements, proactively took the initiative, and jumped in with his gear, to became the “right man” for necessarily and exceptionally fulfilling a critical mission team support role.

 

Cat Brules

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On 6/16/2020 at 7:47 AM, Rye Miles #13621 said:

Wow! We need someone like that now!

 

We have em. We always have.

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23 minutes ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

We have em. We always have.

 

And always will.

Just that most of 'em do their job and don't get noticed.

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