Walz Presents Bronze Star Medal for Valor to Korean War Hero
LUVERNE, MN – Today, U.S. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Tim Walz (MN-01) presented local veteran David F. O’Connor with the Bronze Star Medal for Valor. Mr. O’Connor was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his heroic actions on September 23, 1951 while serving in the position of Platoon Leader as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army during the Korean War.
“I am truly humbled to have been in the presence of Mr. O’Connor today, who dedicated four decades of his life to defending our country and an equal amount of effort educating our children in the trades,” said Representative Walz. “He is the epitome of a public servant and it is evident that his family could not be more proud of his service. I am honored to have presented Mr. O’Connor with the Bronze Star for Valor.”
On September 23, 1951 while attacking hostile outpost positions along Hill 931 in the vicinity of Yanggu, Korea, Company F encountered heavy resistance. Taking an exposed position, Platoon Leader and then Second Lieutenant O’Connor of the 9th Infantry Regiment of the 2d Infantry Division directed machine gun fire to pin down the enemy in order that his platoon could advance. As the unit neared the objective, it encountered heavy machine gun fire. Lieutenant O’Connor, with complete disregard for his personal safety, advanced through the deadly hail of hostile fire to reconnoiter the enemy positions. Observing several hostile emplacements, he directed accurate mortar fire upon them and succeeded in neutralizing them. With the objective still in the enemy’s hands, Lieutenant O’Connor ordered a bayonet assault, and under his aggressive leadership, his men succeeded in killing or routing the hostile forces from their strongholds.
Authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 4, 1944, the Bronze Star Medal may be awarded for acts of heroism, acts of merit, or meritorious service in a combat zone. In cases of acts of heroism, the Bronze Star Medal is awarded along with the “V” device, which denotes valor. Mr. O’Connor is also a recipient of a Silver Star and two Purple Heart Medals.
Mr. O’Connor currently resides at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne. His wife of 67 years is Charlotte O’Connor. Their four children are Stephen O'Connor, Gregory O'Connor, Elizabeth O'Connor, and Letitia (O'Connor) Abrahamson.