Medal of Honor

Stories of America's Greatest Heroes

Ken Harbaugh tells the stories of service members who have distinguished themselves through an act of valor. These stories feature recipients from the Civil War to present day, including a few who were originally overlooked for the medal.

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After an enemy Japanese plane crashed into the water besides the USS William D. Porter, it exploded causing the destroyer to partially leave the water and crash down again. Thanks to Lieutenant Richard Miles McCool Jr., the commander of a smaller Landing Craft Support ship (LCS-122), all 300 crew members were evacuated to safety.

The next day, on June 11th, 1945, the LCS-122 was subject to its own Kamikaze attack that made a direct hit to its bow. The impact caused an explosion and a serious fire that threatened to ignite the ship’s ammunition cache, igniting 120 rockets all at once. Despite his right side being covered in burns and shrapnel, Lt. McCool helped two wounded sailors escape the flaming deckhouse, and directed his crew in order to keep the fire from spreading. His lung then collapsed, but he was able to receive aid and be evacuated to another LCS.

Lt. McCool was awarded the Medal of Honor role in saving both the crew of the USS William D. Porter on June 10th, and his own crew on June 11th, 1945.

More Episodes

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The Black Panther Tank Battalion: S/Sgt. Ruben Rivers

Medal of Honor | S:10 E:1
S/Sgt. was awarded the Medal of Honor for sacrificing his life to protect his tank battalion as they retreated during WWII....
Listen to The Black Panther Tank Battalion: S/Sgt. Ruben Rivers

The Lost Battalion: Four Medal of Honor Stories - Part 2

Medal of Honor | S:9 E:8
Today we’ll hear the conclusion of the harrowing story of The Lost Battalion and the four members who earned the Medal of Honor in World War I....
Listen to The Lost Battalion: Four Medal of Honor Stories - Part 2

The Lost Battalion: Four Medal of Honor Stories - Part 1

Medal of Honor | S:9 E:7
Today in a special episode, we’ll be talking about The Lost Battalion, and four soldiers who earned the Medal of Honor for their actions during th...
Listen to The Lost Battalion: Four Medal of Honor Stories - Part 1

Thirteen vs. Two: Col William A. Shomo

Medal of Honor | S:9 E:6
Col Shomo earned the medal of honor for destroying 7 Japanese aircraft while being outnumbered 13 to 2 during World War II....
Listen to Thirteen vs. Two: Col William A. Shomo

In Partnership with The National Medal of Honor Museum

The museum offers an experience that draws personal and emotional connections to Medal of Honor recipients and their stories, while shedding light on the wars in which they fought and the ideals that the Medal of Honor represents. Visitors come to understand the meaning and price of freedom—and appreciate the virtue of putting service above self.

The National Medal of Honor Museum also includes an education center aimed at character development in our nation’s youth. A critical part of their mission is to use the stories of our Medal of Honor recipients to inspire young people, and motivate them to be their best selves.

For more information please visit their website.

Ken Harbaugh

The Host
A former US Navy Pilot and past president of Team Rubicon Global. He has served as a commentator for NPR, a host on Crooked Media, and a contributor to The NY Times, The Atlantic, and Yale Journal of International Law.

Nathan Corson

Producer
Nate is an Ohio native and his passion for technical production began at a young age with his involvement in musical theater and playing in humble garage bands.

Declan Rohrs

Contributor
Declan Rohrs (He/Him) was born and raised in Lakewood, Ohio. At Evergreen, he has assumed various roles, including Assistant Producer, Editor, Content Creator, and Email-Signature Guru.