Thursday, January 5, 2012

Texas A&M and the Congressional Medal of Honor during WWII! UPDATED March 23,2013

Naval/Marine MOH
The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.  The medal is generally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States in the name of Congress.  The Congressional Medal of Honor was first authorized by Congress during the Civil War.  As of today (January 5, 2012) 3458 Medals of Honor have been awarded by Congress.  Only 82 of those awarded the Medal of Honor are still living.  Of the 3458 Medals of Honor awarded there have been 19 double awardees.  There are currently three different Medal of Honor designs based on the branch of service of the recipient.

During WWII 16.5 million men and women served in the United States Military.  The Medal of Honor was awarded to 464 American servicemen a ratio of 1 medal for each 35,560 Americans who served.  Among the 16.5 million servicemen who served were 20,000 servicemen how had attended Texas A&M University and are known as Texas Aggies.  Of those 20,000 Texas Aggies, seven were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, a ratio of 1 medal for each 2,857 Texas Aggies..

Army MOH
I am currently reading a book about the seven Congressional Medals of Honor awarded during World War II to individuals who attended Texas A&M University prior to or after their military service.  The book is entitled Texas Aggie Medals of Honor, written by retired Colonel James R. Woodall a 1950 graduate of Texas A&M University.   In the introduction Col. Woodall ponders the question, why was it  that the ratio of Medal of Honor recipients from Texas A&M was so much higher than the overall WWII ratio?  Could it be that Texas A&M creates unique superhuman soldiers?  Well I think that those of us who have attended Texas A&M would like to think so, but in all honesty that does not seem to be the case.  From what I can tell through my very limited research, those who were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor are not superhuman soldiers, they are simply individuals who did what they had to do, when it needed to be done, without regard to their own safety.  Col. Woodall suggests that perhaps it had something to do with the fact that those who attended Texas A&M at that time were essentially individuals who were mostly from small towns across rural Texas, young man grounded in the principals of honor and integrity and who had survived the Great Depressions.  Most had worked hard all their lives for everything they achieved.  Their common bond seems only to be that they ended up, for reasons known only to them, at Texas A&M.    Obviously there is no way to know for sure but I do not  believe that this was purely coincidental.  I hope to some day to discover what differentiated these fine you men for millions of others but for now we simply marvel at their accomplishments and their heroism!

The seven Texas Aggies who were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor during World War II are:
Air Force MOH

God bless all our men and women who selfishly serve this great Country.  America is the home of the free, because of the brave!

Gig Em!

Willie P


  1. Gig 'em! However, it's Thomas Fowler (not Flower) and George Keathley (not Keathly).

  2. Anonymous - Thank you for your feedback and corrections. I have corrected this error and added links to each CMOH Honoree's citation. Gig Em.

  3. Shouldn't it read "principles" instead of "principals"? I would also pluralize "young man" to read "young men", but have "Great Depression" be in the singular instead of plural. That is just free advice.

  4. Thanks for reading this and thanks for you comments. I always appreciate free advice.