Private First Class

John N. Reese, Jr

Army
Inducted 2011


Medal of Honor Recipient

Medal of Honor Recipient

John N. Reese, Jr

Private First Class John N. Reese, Jr., U. S. Army, was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, 13 June 1923. In 1942 he enlisted into the U. S. Army at Pryor, Oklahoma. While serving in Company B, 148th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Division, 9 February 1945, he was engaged in an attack on Paco Railroad Station, Manila, Philippine Islands, which was strongly defended by 300 determined enemy soldiers with machine guns and rifles supported by several pill boxes; three 20mm guns, one 37mm gun and heavy mortars.

While making a frontal assault across an open field, his platoon was halted 100 yards from the station by intense enemy fire. On his own initiative, he left the platoon accompanied by a comrade, and continued forward to a house 60 yards from the objective and began firing on the determined Japanese defenders. Although under constant enemy observation, they remained in their position for an hour, firing at targets of opportunity killing and wounding several Japanese defenders. Enemy fire became more intense as they advanced to within 20 yards of the station. Their combined fire on the enemy killed over 80 Japanese soldiers before a shortage of ammunition forced them to turn back.

Reese was killed reloading his rifle while trying to return to American lines. On 19 October 1945 he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Reese, age 21 at his death, was laid to rest in Fort Gibson National Cemetery, Fort Gibson, Oklahoma.