Pennsylvanians have a long and proud history of military service. With more than 10% of the total Medals of Honor ever awarded, Pennsylvania ranks second only to New York. Pennsylvania's Smedley Darlington Dutler is the only person to receive two Medals of Honor for combat action in two different wars. For heroic service during WWII 26 Pennsylvanians received the MOH; while the number for the Korean War and Vietnam War are 8 and 9, respectively. One PA veteran received the Medal for Combat Action in Somalia and the state's most recent recipient served in Iraq. According to VA statistics, Pennsylvania had 964,000 veterans on September 30, 2010 of which 708,200 served during wartime—the largest group being Vietnam War veterans (320,400). The number of women veterans increased to 63,600. Of the state's total veteran population 15,450 were over the age of 90, 149,000 were between 80-89 and 205,800 were between 70-79. There were 455,000 veterans age 50-69, 192,000 between 30-49 and 36,000 under the age of 30. For more VA statistics and reports visit: HTTP://WWW.VA.GOV/VETDATA/
Major Richard "Dick" D. Winters (January 21, 1918 – January 2, 2011) was a United States Army officer born in Ephrata, PA and a decorated war veteran. He commanded Company "E", 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, during World War II.
Winters parachuted into Normandy in the early hours of D-Day, and fought across France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and eventually into Germany. Later in the war, Winters rose to command the 2nd Battalion. Following the end of hostilities Winters was discharged from the army and returned to civilian life, working in New Jersey.
In 1951, during the Korean War, Winters was recalled to the Army from the inactive list and briefly served as a regimental planning and training officer on staff at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Although issued orders for deployment, he was not sent to Korea. After his discharge he worked at a few different jobs before founding his own company and selling farming products.
Winters was featured in a number of books and was portrayed in the 2001 HBO mini-series Band of Brothers by Damian Lewis. He was a regular guest lecturer at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He retired in 1997. He was the last of the Easy Company commanders to pass away.
Richard Loy Etchberger (March 5, 1933 – March 11, 1968) was a non-commissioned officer in the United States Air Force who posthumously received the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the Battle of Lima Site 85 in the Vietnam War. The medal was formally presented to his three sons by President Barack Obama during a ceremony at the White House on September 21, 2010.
A native of Hamburg, Pennsylvania, Etchberger graduated from Hamburg High School in 1951. He joined the Air Force on August 31 of that year, and was promoted to Chief Master Sergeant on April 1, 1967.
Oscar Schmidt, Jr.
Rank and Organization: Chief Gunner's Mate, U.S. Navy. Place and Date: At sea, 9 October 1918. Entered Service At: Pennsylvania. Born: 25 March 1896, Philadelphia, Pa. G. O. No.: 450, 1919.
For gallant conduct and extraordinary heroism while attached to the U.S.S. Chestnut Hill, on the occasion of the explosion and subsequent fire on board the U.S. submarine chaser 219. Schmidt, seeing a man, whose legs were partly blown off, hanging on a line from the bow of the 219, jumped overboard, swam to the sub chaser and carried him from the bow to the stern where a member of the 219's crew helped him land the man on the afterdeck of the submarine. Schmidt then endeavored to pass through the flames amidships to get another man who was seriously burned. This he was unable to do, but when the injured man fell overboard and drifted to the stern of the chaser Schmidt helped him aboard.Homer Laurence Litzenberg (January 8, 1903-June 27, 1963)
born in Steelton, PA was a decorated Lieutenant General in the United States Marine Corps, serving in Haiti, World War II, and the Korean War. His final rank was awarded at his retirement for valor in battle. He retired from the post of Inspector General of the Marine Corps on May 31, 1959, after more than 37 years of service. Litzenberg is best known for commanding the 7th Marine Regiment during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.
In June 1946, the general was assigned to the Staff of Commander, Seventh Fleet, and served as Seventh Fleet Liaison Officer with General of the Army George C. Marshall and the Chinese Ministry of Defense in Nanking, China, until February 1947, when he became Plans Officer and Marine Officer on the Staff of Commander, Naval Forces Western Pacific. He returned to Washington in August 1948 to attend the National War College, and in May 1949 was named Commanding Officer of the 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. At Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, on August 17, 1950, he formed and assumed command of the 7th Marine Regiment which sailed for duty in Korea on September 1, 1950. While in Korea, Litzenberg's 7th Marines took part in the Battle of Inchon and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir for which he was awarded the Navy Cross.