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Elbert L. Kinser: Wikis


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Elbert Luther Kinser
October 21, 1922(1922-10-21) – May 4, 1945 (aged 22)
Kinser EL.jpg  A light blue neck ribbon with a gold star shaped medallion hanging from it. The ribbon is similar in shape to a bowtie with 13 white stars in the center of the ribbon.
Elbert L. Kinser, Medal of Honor recipient
Place of birth Greeneville, Tennessee
Place of death KIA on Okinawa
Place of burial initially the 1st Marine Division Cemetery on Okinawa
later Solomon Lutheran Cemetery Greeneville, Tennessee
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1942-1945
Rank Sergeant
Unit 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines
Battles/wars World War II
*Battle of Okinawa
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Sergeant Elbert Luther Kinser (Octobr 21, 1922 - May 4, 1945) was a United States Marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions and sacrifice of his life on Okinawa during World War II. The Medal of Honor was presented to Sgt Kinser's parents by MajGen Clifton B. Cates (future Commandant of the Marine Corps) on July 4, 1946 in Greeneville, Tennessee.


Early years

Elbert Kinser was born in Greeneville, Tennessee on October 21, 1922. He worked on his father's farm prior to joining the Marine Corps.

Marine Corps service

Kinser enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in December 1942 and received his recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.

He sailed from the United States in March 1943, and joined the 7th Replacement Battalion in Pago Pago, Tutuila, American Samoa. Later, that battalion joined the 1st Marine Division in Melbourne, Australia, and Sgt Kinser was assigned to Company I, 1st Marines.

Action with the 1st Marines followed at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, and later at Peleliu, Palau Islands.

On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, Sgt Kinser landed with his unit at Okinawa. Sergeant Kinser won the nation's highest military decoration while acting as a leader of a rifle platoon, serving with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, in action on Okinawa, where he was subsequently killed in action on May 4, 1945.

During a fierce hand grenade battle, a Japanese grenade landed in the immediate vicinity, Sgt Kinser unhesitatingly threw himself on the deadly missile, absorbing the full charge of the shattering explosion in his own body and thereby protecting his men from serious injury and possible death.

Sergeant Kinser was buried in the 1st Marine Division Cemetery on Okinawa and his remains were returned to the United States in early 1949 for burial. His final resting place is the Solomon Lutheran Cemetery in Greeneville, Tennessee.[1]


In addition to the Medal of Honor, Sgt Kinser was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart; Presidential Unit Citation; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.

A light blue ribbon with five white five pointed stars 

Medal of Honor citation

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to


for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while acting as Leader of a Rifle Platoon, serving with Company I, Third Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division, in action against Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryūkyū Chain, May 4, 1945. Taken under sudden, close attack by hostile troops entrenched on the reverse slope while moving up a strategic ridge along which his platoon was holding newly won positions, Sergeant Kinser engaged the enemy in a fierce hand grenade battle. Quick to act when a Japanese grenade landed in the immediate vicinity, Sergeant Kinser unhesitatingly threw himself on the deadly missile, absorbing the full charge of the shattering explosion in his own body and thereby protecting his men from serious injury and possible death. Stouthearted and indomitable, he had yielded his own chance of survival that his comrades might live to carry on the relentless battle against a fanatic enemy. His courage, cool decision and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.


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