A Soldier's Story: Private First Class James Harvey Booth

A Soldier's Story: Sergeant Cornelius Charlton

Born on July 24, 1929,  in East Gulf, West Virginia. Sergeant Cornelius Charlton relocated with his family to Brooklyn, New York, where he graduated from James Monroe High School.

He was always drawn to the U.S. Army. He enlisted immediately after his high school graduation in 1946. Sergeant Cornelius Charlton was 17 (his parents had given permission).

Initially assigned to Allied-occupied Germany, the Aberdeen Proving Ground, then Okinawa, Japan. Wanting to enter combat, Sergeant Cornelius Charlton requested a transfer in 1950 and was assigned to the 24th Infantry Regiment and deployed to Korea for the Korean War.

During Operation Piledriver, on June 2, 1951, Sergeant Cornelius Charlton earned a Congressional Medal of Honor while capturing Hill 543. After overcoming enemy fire, he spotted and attacked an enemy bunker, destroying it while suffering from grenade shrapnel wounds that would prove fatal.

Sadly, he was interred three times. The first in the segregated Bryant Memorial Cemetery. Then, the American Legion stepped in and reinterred him at their cemetery in Beckley, Virginia. Finally, after quite a mess of bureaucracy, Sergeant Cornelius Charlton was put to rest in Arlington Cemetery with full military honors.


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

In addition to the travel writings at www.takethebackroads.com, you can also read her book reviews at www.riteoffancy.com and US military biographies at www.everydaypatriot.com

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