John Upshur Dennis Page
Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army
earned the Medal of Honor during the Korean Conflict while serving with
the 52nd Transportation Truck Battalion, X Corps Artillery.
He was sent to the Chosin Reservoir plateau to establish traffic control of the main supply route. He found a remote signal station that needed help and quickly formed a volunteer force of assorted Army and Marine Corps personnel and brought numerous wounded to a hastily devised airstrip. There he fought off the attacking enemy with a machine gun and after ten days of combat was flown to Hamhung but did not stay in the safety of that location.
He returned to the front to help and on the night of December 10, 1950, the retreating column that he was leading was being pursued closely by the Chinese Red Army which had recently entered the conflict. They encountered heavy enemy small-arms fire. He made his way to the front of the column and plunged forward in a surprise attack, during which he was killed. For extraordinary heroism during those ten days he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.
His body was eventually returned to the United
States where it was buried in Section 4 of Arlington National Cemetery.
Photo Courtesy of The Home of Heroes
PAGE, JOHN U. D.
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, X Corps Artillery, while attached to the 52d Transportation Truck Battalion. Place and date: Near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, 29 November to 10 December 1950. Entered service at: St. Paul, Minnesota. Born: 8 February 1904, Malahi Island, Luzon, Philippine Islands. G.O. No.: 21, 25 April 1957.
Lt. Col. Page, a member of X Corps Artillery,
distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action
above and beyond the call of duty in a series of exploits. On 29 November,
Lt. Col. Page left X Corps Headquarters at Hamhung with the mission of
establishing traffic control on the main supply route to 1st Marine Division
positions and those of some Army elements on the Chosin Reservoir plateau.
Having completed his mission Lt. Col. Page was free to return to the safety
of Hamhung but chose to remain on the plateau to aid an isolated signal
station, thus being cut off with elements of the marine division. After
rescuing his jeep driver by breaking up an ambush near a destroyed bridge
Lt. Col. Page reached the lines of a surrounded marine garrison at Koto-ri.
He then voluntarily developed and trained a reserve force of assorted army
troops trapped with the marines. By exemplary leadership and tireless devotion
he made an effective tactical unit available. In order that casualties
might be evacuated, an airstrip was improvised on frozen ground partly
outside of the Koto-ri defense perimeter which was continually under enemy
attack. During 2 such attacks, Lt. Col. Page exposed himself on the airstrip
to direct fire on the enemy, and twice mounted the rear deck of a tank,
manning the machine gun on the turret to drive the enemy back into a no
man's land. On 3 December while being flown low over enemy lines in a light
observation plane, Lt. Col. Page dropped hand grenades on Chinese positions
and sprayed foxholes with automatic fire from his carbine. After 10 days
of constant fighting the marine and army units in the vicinity of the Chosin
Reservoir had succeeded in gathering at the edge of the plateau and Lt.
Col. Page was flown to Hamhung to arrange for artillery support of the
beleaguered troops attempting to break out. Again Lt. Col. Page refused
an opportunity to remain in safety and returned to give every assistance
to his comrades. As the column slowly moved south Lt. Col. Page joined
the rear guard. When it neared the entrance to a narrow pass it came under
frequent attacks on both flanks. Mounting an abandoned tank Lt. Col. Page
manned the machine gun, braved heavy return fire, and covered the passing
vehicles until the danger diminished. Later when another attack threatened
his section of the convoy, then in the middle of the pass, Lt. Col. Page
took a machine gun to the hillside and delivered effective counter fire,
remaining exposed while men and vehicles passed through the ambuscade.
On the night of 10 December the convoy reached the bottom of the pass but
was halted by a strong enemy force at the front and on both flanks. Deadly
small-arms fire poured into the column. Realizing the danger to the column
as it lay motionless, Lt. Col. Page fought his way to the head of the column
and plunged forward into the heart of the hostile position. His intrepid
action so surprised the enemy that their ranks became disordered and suffered
heavy casualties. Heedless of his safety, as he had been throughout the
preceding 10 days, Lt. Col. Page remained forward, fiercely engaging the
enemy single-handed until mortally wounded. By his valiant and aggressive
spirit Lt. Col. Page enabled friendly forces to stand off the enemy. His
outstanding courage, unswerving devotion to duty, and supreme self-sacrifice
reflect great credit upon Lt. Col. Page and are in the highest tradition
of the military service.
Photo courtesy of Raymond L. Collins
John Upshur Dennis Page
St. Paul, Minnesota - Born February 8, 1904
Lieutenant Colonel, US Army
Killed in Action December 11, 1950 in Korea
Lieutenant Colonel Page a veteran of World
War II. In Korea, he was a member of Headquarters, X Corps attached to
the 52nd Transportation Battalion. When a superior enemy force attacked
a Marine convoy near Sudong-ni, North Korea, he repeatedly exposed himself
to enemy fire to organize the convoy personnel and single-handedly fought
the enemy to protect wounded comrades until he was mortally wounded. For
his leadership and great valor, Lieutenant Colonel Page was awarded the
Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart.
WASHINGTON, December 19, 1956 – The Army announced today the award of the Medal of Honor to Lieutenant Colonel John U. D. Page. He was killed while covering the withdrawal of American troops from North Korea in December 1950. His widow lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Colonel Page is the seventy-eighth Army man to receive the nation’s highest award for heroism for fighting in the Korean War.
He received the posthumous award for his “supreme self-sacrifice” over a twelve-day period during which he accepted one perilous assignment after another to rescue American forces trapped near the Yalu River by the onslaught of Chinese communist forces.
Colonel Page was killed near Sudong-ni while
single-handedly fighting the enemy so that American forces might withdraw.
He was part of a Marine-Army convoy that was retreating from the area of
Photo (l) courtesy of the American Battle Monuments Commission, photo (r) courtesy of the United States Army
Page Updated: 1 OCtober 2000 Page Updated: 2 May 2001 Updated: 26 December 2004 Updated: 28 February 2006 Updated: 3 January 2008
Photos By M. R. Patterson, 3 December 2004