Medal of Honor recipient Ralph Eugene Pomeroy (March 26, 1930-October 15, 1952) was born in Quinwood, Greenbrier County, the second of nine children. After graduating from Crichton High School in 1948, he worked for the Imperial Smokeless Coal Company in Quinwood until October 1951.
Pomeroy entered the Army on October 17, 1951, and after training in Hawaii, was sent to Korea. As a member of Company E, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, Private First Class Pomeroy was serving as a machine gunner near Kumhuwa, Korea, in a region known as the Triangle Hill on October 15, 1952. While the unit prepared for an enemy attack, Pomeroy positioned his machine gun at the end of a trench in an attempt to prevent enemy forces from outflanking his unit. Enemy soldiers directed their attack through a ravine at Pomeroy who returned fire and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. After receiving both artillery and mortar rounds that destroyed his gun’s mount and left him seriously wounded, Pomeroy took the machine gun and moved forward, firing toward the enemy. After running out of ammunition and suffering another wound, Pomeroy used his weapon as a club and engaged in hand-to-hand combat until being mortally wounded. Pomeroy’s efforts helped his unit contain the enemy attack.
Army Secretary Robert Stevens presented the Medal of Honor to Pomeroy’s parents on December 16, 1953, for their son’s “inspirational actions and supreme sacrifice.” Pomeroy was buried near Clintonville at the End of the Trail Cemetery on January 10, 1953. In 1994, West Virginia honored him by renaming a bridge on U.S. 19 south of Summerville the Ralph Eugene Pomeroy Memory Bridge. On March 10, 2001, the Navy christened the USNS Pomeroy, a medium-speed, roll-off ship, in San Diego.
This Article was written by Henry Franklin Tribe
Last Revised on December 08, 2015
Army to Honor Two Heroes. The New York Times, December 15, 1953.
Cite This Article
Tribe, Henry Franklin "Ralph Pomeroy." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 08 December 2015. Web. 23 February 2017.