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Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 23 January

There are four Medals awarded for actions on this day.  Two naval lifesaving Medals and two in World War II.  All recipients lived to received their awards - though the TSA considered confiscating one of them...

Interim Awards, 1871-1898.  Based on the number of lifesaving Medals, January is a dangerous month for sailors.
DEMPSEY, JOHN

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1848, Ireland. Accredited to: Massachusetts. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Kearsarge at Shanghai, China, 23 January 1875. Displaying gallant conduct, Dempsey jumped overboard from the Kearsarge and rescued from drowning one of the crew of that vessel.

MOORE, FRANCIS

Rank and organization: Boatswain's Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1858 New York. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 326, 18 October 1884. Citation: For jumping overboard from the U.S. Training Ship Portsmouth, at the Washington Navy Yard, 23 January 1882, and endeavoring to rescue Thomas Duncan, carpenter and calker, who had fallen overboard. 
World War II. Meet Joe "Too Dangerous To Be Allowed On Board" Foss, and tough Master Sergeant Oresko. Today, I'm sure we could find a journalist who would argue that Oresko shouldn't have shot the dazed Germans in that first bunker...
FOSS, JOSEPH JACOB

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Fighting Squadron 121, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. Place and date: Over Guadalcanal, 9 October to 19 November 1942, 15 and 23 January 1943. Entered service at: South Dakota. Born: 17 April 1 915, Sioux Falls, S. Dak. Citation: For outstanding heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty as executive officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 121, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, at Guadalcanal. Engaging in almost daily combat with the enemy from 9 October to 19 November 1942, Capt. Foss personally shot down 23 Japanese planes and damaged others so severely that their destruction was extremely probable. In addition, during this period, he successfully led a large number of escort missions, skillfully covering reconnaissance, bombing, and photographic planes as well as surface craft. On 15 January 1943, he added 3 more enemy planes to his already brilliant successes for a record of aerial combat achievement unsurpassed in this war. Boldly searching out an approaching enemy force on 23 January, Capt. Foss led his 8 F-4F Marine planes and 4 Army P-38's into action and, undaunted by tremendously superior numbers, intercepted and struck with such force that 4 Japanese fighters were shot down and the bombers were turned back without releasing a single bomb. His remarkable flying skill, inspiring leadership, and indomitable fighting spirit were distinctive factors in the defense of strategic American positions on Guadalcanal.

ORESKO, NICHOLAS

Rank and organization: Master Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 302d Infantry, 94th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Tettington, Germany, 23 January 1945. Entered service at: Bayonne, N.J. Birth: Bayonne, N.J. G.O. No.: 95, 30 October 1945. Citation: M/Sgt. Oresko was a platoon leader with Company C, in an attack against strong enemy positions. Deadly automatic fire from the flanks pinned down his unit. Realizing that a machinegun in a nearby bunker must be eliminated, he swiftly worked ahead alone, braving bullets which struck about him, until close enough to throw a grenade into the German position. He rushed the bunker and, with pointblank rifle fire, killed all the hostile occupants who survived the grenade blast. Another machinegun opened up on him, knocking him down and seriously wounding him in the hip. Refusing to withdraw from the battle, he placed himself at the head of his platoon to continue the assault. As withering machinegun and rifle fire swept the area, he struck out alone in advance of his men to a second bunker. With a grenade, he crippled the dug-in machinegun defending this position and then wiped out the troops manning it with his rifle, completing his second self-imposed, 1-man attack. Although weak from loss of blood, he refused to be evacuated until assured the mission was successfully accomplished. Through quick thinking, indomitable courage, and unswerving devotion to the attack in the face of bitter resistance and while wounded, M /Sgt. Oresko killed 12 Germans, prevented a delay in the assault, and made it possible for Company C to obtain its objective with minimum casualties.