Medal of Honor Podcast

History Podcasts

Ken Harbaugh tells the stories of service members who have distinguished themselves through an act of valor. These stories from the Civil War to present day include recipients who were originally overlooked for the medal as well as those who were celebrated at the time.This podcast is made in partnership with The National Medal of Honor Museum.


United States


Ken Harbaugh tells the stories of service members who have distinguished themselves through an act of valor. These stories from the Civil War to present day include recipients who were originally overlooked for the medal as well as those who were celebrated at the time.This podcast is made in partnership with The National Medal of Honor Museum.




LT COL Rascon: No Soldier Left Behind

A childhood immigrant, LT COL Al “Doc” Rascon became an Army medic and deployed to Vietnam. During a firefight,Rascon saved the lives of many soldiers by bringing them back to safety and absorbing grenade blasts. Rascon was so wounded he was given last rites, but recovered, continued to serve, and was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2000.


Fernando García

Private First Class Fernando Luis García Ledesma was born in Utuado, Puerto Rico before enlisting in the Marines in 1951. García was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine regiment and eventually deployed to fight in the Korean War. While engaged with forces from China’s People's Volunteer Army, García gave his life to protect his fellow Marines, for which he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.


Henry Erwin

Born in Alabama in 1921, Henry Erwin enlisted in the Army Reserve in his early twenties. Erwin was assigned to a bombardment squadron and deployed to the Pacific in World War II. During one harrowing bombing run, Erwin suffered severe injuries while saving his aircraft and all those aboard. His actions earned him the Medal of Honor, but left him with grave injuries that required multiple surgeries.


Happy Holidays from Medal of Honor

Ken and the Medal of Honor podcast team are taking some time off for the holidays. New episodes will return on January 2nd. Thank you for your support and Happy Holidays.


John Balch

Commander John H. Balch was born just before the turn of the 20th century in Kansas, were he studied at Kansas State University before joining the Navy. Balch was sent to fight in France as the US entered World War I. His efforts during pivotal engagements during the war earned him many military decorations, including the Medal of Honor.


Melvin Morris

Before enlisting in the military, Melvin Morris lived out a humble childhood on his grandparent’s farm in Okmulgee, OK. Morris’s career began in the National Guard, and ultimately led to him serving in an Army Special Forces unit in Vietnam. It was there that Morris earned the Medal of Honor by rescuing injured comrades and retrieving classified information from the enemy’s grasp.


Francis Wai

Captain Francis Brown Wai was the son of a Chinese immigrant and Native Hawaiian who, despite intending to work with his father in real estate, eventually enlisted in the National Guard. He served in the US invasion of the Japanese-occupied Philippines in World War II, where he gave his life in combat. Wai was awarded a posthumous Distinguished Service Cross, which was eventually upgraded to the Medal of Honor after a congressionally-directed review found that many Asian Americans did not...


Alonzo Cushing

Born in 1841, Alonzo Hereford Cushing was raised in Fredonia, NY and graduated from West Point in 1861. He would go on to fight in some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War against the Confederates. Cushing’s valiant actions would help to turn the tide during Pickett’s Charge in the Battle of Gettysburg, and eventually earn him the Medal of Honor.


Dan Daly

Dan Daly was born in Glen Cove, NY in 1873 and first saw combat during the Boxer Rebellion. He later fought in Haiti during the Banana Wars, and at the Battle of Belleau Wood in World War I. His bravery in these conflicts earned him two Medals of Honor, a privilege which only two Marines have received.


Randy Shugart

Before enlisting in the Army, Randy Shugart spent most of his childhood on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania. Shugart would eventually be deployed to Somalia as part of Operation Gothic Serpent. His actions while on a mission there would eventually serve as the inspiration for the book, and later movie, Black Hawk Down.


Hiroshi Miyamura

Despite being the son of immigrants and having teachers struggle to pronounce his name, Hiroshi Miyamura saw himself as fully American. Miyamura would eventually serve in multiple military conflicts and demonstrate extraordinary bravery in defeating a wave of enemy soldiers during the Korean War. Hiroshi was captured there, and was secretly awarded the Medal of Honor while a POW. He received the medal upon his release.


Alwyn Cashe

Born into a large family in Oviedo, FL, Alwyn Cashe’s military career began in the early 2000’s. He was deployed to Iraq in 2005 as a member of the 3rd Infantry Division. When one of the unit’s vehicles was hit by an IED, Cashe went to extraordinary lengths to save members of his party, suffering grievous injuries in the process.


Hector Cafferata

Originally enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve, Hector Cafferata Jr found himself called to active duty at the outbreak of the Korean War. His unit was tasked with defending a hill at the critical Toktong Pass, where Cafferata fought to protect his fellow Marines from a wave of enemy soldiers.


John Bobo

John Paul Bobo joined the Marine Corps Reserve not long after graduating college and soon found himself in Vietnam. He earned the Medal of Honor defending his company from an enemy ambush as they patrolled along the North Vietnam border.


James Howard

James Howard led a long career as a pilot, serving in multiple branches of the military and across several conflicts. His flying skills quickly led him to become a squadron leader and Ace. Howard won the Medal of Honor in 1944 defending American bombers from German attacks.


Henry Johnson

Henry Johnson enlisted in the Army in 1917 and became one of the first American heroes of WWI. While in France, Johnson saved the life of his comrade by single handedly fighting off a wave of enemy soldiers. Though he returned home a hero, he faced difficulties finding work and accessing healthcare.


George A. Davis Jr

Lt Col George A. Davis, Jr. served in the Army Air Corps during WWII and Korea, flying over 250 missions and becoming an ACE. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for attacking a vastly superior enemy formation during the Korean War.


Eddie Rickenbacker

Captain Eddie Rickenbacker served as a pilot in WWI. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for destroying two enemy aircraft in a one-versus-seven dogfight behind enemy lines. He also was awarded eight Distinguished Service Crosses for his other aerial victories.


Rerun: Hershel "Woody" Williams

Earlier this week, Hershel Woody Williams, the last surviving WWII Medal of Honor recipient, passed away. His heroism was vital to American efforts in the Battle of Iwo Jima. Learn more about Williams here: "75 years ago, a farm boy became a Medal of Honor hero with a flamethrower at Iwo Jima", Task & Purpose "Battle of Iwo Jima's Last Living Medal of Honor Recipient Still Working for Military Families", Williams' bio, Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation Medal of...


Harold Gonsalves

Harold Gonsalves sacrificed his own life for the sake of his fellow Marines and their mission at the Battle of Okinawa. He was the only Latino Marine to earn the Medal of Honor during World War II.