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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.




Brothers in Arms: SM1 Douglas Albert Munro

Leading up to World War II, Signalman First Class Douglas Albert Munro and Chief Signalman (later Commander) Raymond J. Evans enlisted to the Coast guard on the same day. They quickly became inseparable, only served one short assignment apart.


Surviving a Rocket: Lt. Comdr. Thomas Gunning Kelly

Lieutenant Commander Thomas Gunning Kelly served in Vietnam as a river assault division commander. Even after a rocket rendered him temporarily blind and unable to walk, he successfully directed his division’s defense of a vulnerable boat until the threat was gone.


Service and Sacrifice: Cpl William Kyle Carpenter

Corporal William Kyle Carpenter covered an enemy grenade in Afghanistan to protect his fellow Marine. He was severely injured, and had to be resuscitated multiple times, but he survived. It took him three years to recover, and he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his courage.


BG Theodore Roosevelt Jr.: A D-Day Hero

Son of former President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was the oldest soldier and the highest ranking official to fight in the Invasion of Normandy. His seasoned and unfaltering leadership during D-Day inspired and reassured assaulting troops, leading to a successful establishment of the beachhead in France.


CinC Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt: The Rough Riders

Before becoming President, Theodore Roosevelt fought in the Spanish-American war and served in a volunteer cavalry unit called the Rough Riders. Roosevelt became a national hero for leading a dangerous charge with the Rough Riders to take San Juan Hill. Despite being recommended for the award multiple times, Roosevelt was refused the Medal of Honor until 2001, one hundred and three years after the battle. Roosevelt and his son became the second father and son in history to each receive a Medal of Honor, and Roosevelt became the only person in history to receive both the Medal of Honor and the Nobel Peace Prize.


SFC Webster Anderson: Give Everything You’ve Got

Sergeant First Class Webster Anderson served in the Army in Vietnam. He lost two legs and an arm defending his position near Tam Ky, but his resilience and bravery encouraged his men, led to victory, and earned him the Medal of Honor.


Pfc. Barger & Funk: Rushing into No Man’s Land

Privates First Class Charles D. Barger and Jesse N. Funk both served in World War I as Stretcher Bearers in the U.S. Army. After hearing that two wounded officers were pinned down under heavy fire in No Man’s Land, Barger and Funk leaped into action and raced through heavy fire to save them both.


Maj. Horace Seaver Carswell Jr.: One Bomber Against a Convoy

Major Horace Seaver Carswell Jr. was tasked with piloting a surprise single-plane bombing mission against a convoy of 14+ Japanese ships. Carswell hit his targets, but his B-24 suffered severe damage in the process. Down one parachute, he ordered his men to bail out and leave him behind. He attempted to crash land, but wasn’t able to gain enough altitude and crashed into a mountainside. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his exemplary Sacrifice.


CPL James Allen: The Lie of a Lifetime

Corporal James Allen served in the Union Army, and fought in many famous battles including Bull Run, Gettysburg, and Chancellorsville without ever seeing the inside of the hospital. During the Battle of Crampton’s Gap, Allen was separated from the rest of his division, and faced a squad of Confederates. He charged, prompting them to retreat. Allen then realized that they must think he has a squad behind them, because they’d never retreat with only one man in pursuit. Leaning into this, he hopped over a wall, landed amongst the 14 enemies, and convinced them to surrender. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for this impressive trick.


Sgt. David Bruce Bleak: The Giant of Hill 499

Sergeant David Bruce Bleak served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and was assigned to the Army Medical Service. As he and a patrol of 20 men attempted to capture Hill 499, Sergeant Bleak continuously administered aid while killing four enemies with his bare hands and one with a trench knife, protecting a fellow soldier from a grenade blast, and carrying another down the hill down to safety.


Sergeant Jose M. Lopez: One Man and His Machine Gun

Sergeant Jose M. Lopez was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Battle of the Bulge. Carrying and operating a heavy machine gun that was meant to be manned by at least three men, Lopez moved from position to position, defending his company from the German attack. He killed over 100 enemies and is credited with being nearly solely responsible for saving his company.


Rerun: MSgt Roy Benavidez

Master Sergeant Raul Perez “Roy” Benavidez spent his adolescence working a series of odd jobs in Cuero, TX before enlisting in the National Guard in 1952. He would later join the Army and earn his Green beret before being deployed to Vietnam. It was here that he earned the Medal of Honor for risking his own life to rescue wounded soldiers and recover the body of a fallen soldier and the classified information he was carrying. You can find Benavidez’s autobiographical books about his experiences here: Medal of Honor The Three Wars of Roy Benavidez Medal of Honor: One Man’s Journey From Poverty and Prejudice


Pvt Joe P. Martinez: Fighting An Uphill Battle

Cold, underequipped, and out positioned, Private Martinez led the way up tundra mountains through Japanese defenses on the Alaskan island of Attu. As he readied to destroy the final bunker, Martinez was killed, but turned the battle around for his fellow soldiers.


RADM Richard Antrim: Defending the Defenseless

The last man to leave his sinking ship, Rear Admiral Antrim and his sailors could only run for so long before being captured and imprisoned as POW. Faced with cruelty and brutality from guards everyday, Antrim stood up for his fellow POWs and was awarded the Medal of Honor for saving another’s life in the prison camp.


MSgt Leroy Petry: The Rangers

On a raid in a Taliban compound, Master Sergeant Petry was wounded in both legs when an enemy grenade landed by his wounded comrade. Without thinking twice, Petry saved his friend by throwing the grenade back and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his self-sacrifice.


2ndLt Lloyd Herbert Hughes: Through the Fire and the Flames

Flying over a thousand miles to his target, 2ndLt Hughes’s B-24 Liberator took heavy fire from enemy flak, yet continued with the mission of bombing burning enemy oil fields.


Cpl Joseph Vittori: Taking on an Army

After enlisting for a second time, Corporal Joseph Vittori was sent to the Republic of Korea at the beginning of the Korean War. Alone in a position of his company’s defense, Vittori held off hundreds of enemy fighters to the death, and was awarded the Medal of Honor.


Cpl Harold Roberts: Only One of Us Can Make It

When Corporal Roberts’ tank sank into 10 feet of water, his first instinct was to save his gunner, knowing only one of them could escape. Because of his self sacrifice, Roberts was awarded the Medal of Honor.


LTJG John Koelsch: Helicopter Rescue

LTJG Koelsch was one of two Navy pilots to receive the Medal of Honor during the Korean War. Flying his helicopter deep into enemy territory, he attempted to rescue a downed Marine pilot and resisted capture after being shot down.


PFC Oscar Palmer Austin: Selfless Sacrifice

When PFC Austin’s observation post was spotted and overrun, his only instinct was to save his fellow Marines. Austin sacrificed his life to save another Marine from a deadly grenade, and then took a bullet for him. Because of his sacrifice, Austin was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.