LTC Romeo “Rick” Bucknell (Ret).

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Co. A 1950-1952; 3 Silver Stars, Bronze Star, Soldier's Medal, 2 Purple Hearts; served for 29 yrs. (Deceased 2006)

Article:

SILVER STAR
FIRST LIEUTENANT ROMEO H. BUCKNELL, JR., 01330151, Infantry, Company “A”, 65th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division, United States Army. Upon arrival in a defensive position near Ckuyuo, Korea, on 25 April 1951, Company “A” was ordered to seize the high ground to the immediate east, the occupation of which area by the enemy would have placed the defensive position of other friendly units in grave danger. After reaching its objective the company became engaged in a fierce battle with a large enemy force. Early in the fight, Lieutenant BUCKNELL, learning that a platoon leader had been wounded, voluntarily crawled forward under heavy enemy fire and assisted the wounded officer to safety. Later, he received word that a group of men were wounded and again risking his personal safety, he proceeded toward their position and directed the evacuation of the injured. Despite the bitter fire of several enemy machine guns, Lieutenant BUCKNELL successfully led the litter bearers to the wounded and physically assisted in their evacuation from the scene of battle. These hazardous duties safely accomplished, he returned to his platoon to encourage his men and helped distribute vitally needed ammunition among them. Lieutenant BUCKNELL’S selfless acts of gallantry reflect the highest credit upon himself and the military service. Entered the military service from the State of New York.  GENERAL ORDERS # 213 – 22 June 1951

SILVER STAR
FIRST LIEUTENANT ROMEO H. BUCKNELL, JR., 01330151, Infantry, Company “A”, 65th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division, United States Army. On 4 June 1951, Company “A” was assigned the mission of capturing Hill 466, near Unchon-ni, Korea, after another company, suffering a large number of casualties, had failed to gain the objective. The route to the objective was zeroed in by the enemy artillery and snipers were known to be deployed at strategic points, making any advance extremely hazardous. Lieutenant BUCKNELL, although constantly exposed to the heavy artillery barrage, aggressively led his company forward and going from man to man, encouraged each one to maintain the steady advance until the company, although having sustained many casualties, succeeded in reaching its goal. Almost immediately, the enemy launched a vicious counterattack, blasting the hill with a rain of hand grenades which wounded two of the company’s platoon leaders and several of the ranking non-commissioned officers, depriving the unit of much of its essential leadership. Lieutenant BUCKNELL, seriously handicapped by this and yet possessed with a fierce determination to hold the objective, reorganized his casualty riddled company by personally placing men in important positions. Ordering them to hold firmly, he continued to move about the perimeter, urging and inspiring his men with his exemplary courage and disregard for his own well-being. During the night and the following morning the enemy, in groups of 40 and 50, attempted several assaults but the company, bolstered by Lieutenant BUCKNELL’S tenacity and vocal reassurance, repeatedly repelled these attacks. Throughout the engagement the valiant officer, although slightly wounded, was always in the thick of the battle giving first aid, evacuating the wounded, carrying ammunition, and laying sound wire, all necessary in aiding the company to hold its ground. This containing action paved the way for the withdrawal of a friendly battalion on the left flank and prevented the enemy from jeopardizing the 1st Battalion, of which Company “A” was a part. That the company mission was so outstandingly successful despite many handicaps is due directly to Lieutenant BUCKNELL’S resolute leadership, bold aggressiveness, and superb gallantry reflecting the highest credit upon himself and the military service. Entered the military service from the State of New York.  GENERAL ORDERS # 364 – 18 August 1951

SILVER STAR
CAPTAIN (then FIRST LIEUTENANT) ROMEO H. BUCKNELL, Jr., 01330151, Infantry, Company “A”, 65th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division, United States Army. On 19 March 1951, near Yuman-ni, Korea, Captain Bucknell, commanding a Battle Patrol Platoon of Company “B”, fearlessly led his unit in an assault against a numerically superior and entrenched enemy force on Hill 114. Fully exposing himself at all times to the withering hostile fire, he was twice wounded; but undaunted, routing the enemy from the hill. Only after the objective had been secured and he had defensively deployed the platoon did he accept medical treatment for his wounds. The gallant leadership and courage exhibited by Captain BUCKNELL reflect high credit upon himself and the military service. Entered the military service from the State of New York. GENERAL ORDERS # 533 – 22 November 1951

SOLDIERS MEDAL
FIRST LIEUTENANT ROMEO H. BUCKNELL, 01330151, Infantry, Company “A”, 65th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division, United States Army. On 29 May 1951, near Saltun-ni, Korea, the First Platoon of Company “A” had been detached from the main body of troops in order to secure a specific objective and to rejoin the unit at a certain time. When Lieutenant BUCKNELL noticed that the platoon had not returned on schedule and realizing that it was handicapped by darkness, he volunteered to locate and guide it back. After finding the unit, they started the trip back and while crossing a turbulent mountain stream, the soldier carrying the recoilless rifle fell into the deep water. Lieutenant BUCKNELL unhesitatingly plunged into the swift current and rescued both the soldier and the weapon. Remaining in the water, he waited until all the platoon had crossed, thus assuring their safe passage. Lieutenant BUCKNELL’S singular heroic achievement reflects great credit upon himself and the military service. Entered the military service from the State of New York.  GENERAL ORDERS # 277 – 13 July 1951