Private First Class Alford L. McLaughlin

Private First Class
Co. I, 3rd Battalion
5th Marines
1st Marine Division
Korean Conflict
4-5 September 1952
Private First Class Alford L. McLaughlin

CITATION: “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a machine gunner of Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on the night of 4-5 September 1952. Volunteering for his second continuous tour of duty on a strategic combat outpost far in advance of the main line of resistance, Private First Class McLaughlin maintained a constant flow of devastating fire upon the enemy, alternately employing two machine guns, a carbine and hand grenades. Although painfully wounded, he bravely fired the machine guns from the hip until his hands become blistered by the extreme heat from the weapon and, placing the guns on the ground to allow them to cool, continued to defend the position with his carbine and grenades. Standing up in full view, he shouted words of encouragement to his comrades above the din of battle and, throughout a series of fanatical enemy attacks. He sprayed the surrounding area with deadly fire, accounting for an estimated one hundred and fifty enemy dead and fifty wounded. By his indomitable courage, superb leadership and valiant fighting spirit in the face of overwhelming odds, Private First Class McLaughlin served to inspire his fellow Marines in their gallant stand against the enemy and was directly instrumental in preventing the vital outpost from falling into the hands of a determined and numerically superior hostile force. His outstanding heroism and unwavering devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and enhance the finest traditions of the United States Marine Corps.”

In addition to the Medal of Honor he was awarded the following:

Purple Heart with Gold Star - Asiatic-Pacific
Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal -
Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia and Europe
Clasps - The Korean Service Medal with Three
Bronze Stars - United Nations Service Medal -
National Defense Service Medal.

He was promoted to corporal in December 1952. He also served in Guam, Japan and the Mediterranean. He was only 17 years of age when he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1945. Corporal McLaughlin was married in 1953 to the former Kathryn West and they have one son. PFC McLaughlin was born at Leeds and attended school there. He was promoted to sergeant before his discharge from the Marine Corps in 1967.

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