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John Doran Kelly
July 8, 1928(1928-07-08) – May 28, 1952 (aged 23)
John Kelly  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.
John D. Kelly, posthumous Medal of Honor recipient
Place of birth Youngstown, Ohio
Place of death Killed in action in Korea
Place of burial Jefferson Memorial Cemetery
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1951-1952
Rank Private First Class
Unit 1st Battalion, 7th Marines
Battles/wars Korean War
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Private First Class John Doran Kelly (July 8, 1928 – May 28, 1952) was a United States Marine awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic action on May 28, 1952 against Communist forces in Korea. Kelly was mortally wounded during his act of heroism.



John Doran Kelly was born July 8, 1928 in Youngstown, Ohio. Soon afterwards his family moved to Homestead, Pennsylvania, where he attended grade school and high school. He graduated from high school in 1947, and was attending Arizona State College, prior to entering the United States Marine Corps.

He gave up college during the Korean Conflict, enlisting in the Marine Corps in August 1951, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Following his initial training at Parris Island, South Carolina, he was transferred to Camp Pendleton for further training prior to joining the 1st Marine Division in Korea.

Private First Class Kelly served as a radio operator with Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, before he died.

PFC John Doran Kelly is buried at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[1] His grave can be found in section 20, lot 319.

Medal of Honor citation

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously 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 serving as a Radio Operator of Company C, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 28 May 1952. With his platoon pinned down by a numerically superior enemy force employing intense mortar, artillery, small-arms and grenade fire, Private First Class Kelly requested permission to leave his radio in the care of another man and to participate in an assault on enemy key positions. Fearlessly charging forward in the face of a murderous hail of machine-gun fire and hand grenades, he initiated a daring attack against a hostile strongpoint and personally neutralized the position, killing two of the enemy. Unyielding in the face of heavy odds, he continued forward and singlehandedly assaulted a machine-gun bunker. Although painfully wounded , he bravely charged the bunker and destroyed it, killing three of the enemy. Courageously continuing his one-man assault, he again stormed forward in a valiant attempt to wipe out a third bunker and boldly delivered point-blank fire into the aperture of the hostile emplacement. Mortally wounded by enemy fire while carrying out his heroic action, Private First Class Kelly, by his great personal valor and aggressive fighting spirit, inspired his comrades to sweep on, overrun and secure the objective. His extraordinary heroism in the face of almost certain death reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


See also


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


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