Award of the Distinguished Service
First Lieutenant Richard W. Durkee, 01325809, Infantry, United States Army. Lieutenant Durkee, a member of Company L, 65th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, Distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy in the vicinity of Uijongbu, Korea. On 23 March 1951, while attacking a well defended enemy positions on Hill 221, the 1st Platoon of Company L was subjected to intense small-arms fire and pinned down. After ordering the remainder of the platoon to furnish covering fire, Lieutenant Durkee led the 1st Squad in a assault on the enemy entrenchments.
When his ammunition was expended, Lieutenant Durkee single-handedly assaulted an enemy
position and killed the occupant with his bayonet. Unable to remove his bayonet from the
body of the dead soldier, he went unarmed to another hostile position, seized an enemy
soldiers rifle by the bayonet, wrested the weapon from his hands and clubbed him to death.
Although his hand was seriously lacerated during this action, Lieutenant Durkee continued
to lead the assault against the enemy and his men, inspired by the fearlessness of their
leader, overwhelmed the hostile troops and secured the objective. The extraordinary
heroism displayed by Lieutenant Durkee reflects great credit on himself and is in keeping
with the highest traditions of the military service.