From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Earl Valentine, Jr. '51

Date of birth: March 19, 1928

Date of death: August 27, 1952

Age: 24

Lucky Bag

From the 1951 Lucky Bag:

Navy Cross

1951 Valentine 1.jpg

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant Earl Lester Valentine, Jr. (MCSN: 0-51968), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as a Platoon Commander of Company H, Third Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Korea on the night of 25 - 26 August 1952. Assigned the mission of restoring the company defensive perimeter when numerically superior hostile forces overran a key ridge line on the right flank, Second Lieutenant Valentine bravely led his platoon through intense enemy artillery and mortar barrages to the line of departure in preparation for a counterattack. Undeterred by persistent hostile fire, he boldly reconnoitered the terrain in the darkness, called in a mortar fire plan to the company command post to support his attack and, although wounded, moved his unit forward in the assault. At the height of the battle, he assumed a position forward of the platoon and spearheaded the attack in the face of a barrage of hostile mortar, grenade and artillery fire until he was mortally wounded. Second Lieutenant Valentine's forceful and determined leadership served to inspire his men to heroic endeavor in driving the enemy from the ridge and in restoring the company perimeter. His superb courage and valiant fighting spirit reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

General Orders: Authority: Board of Awards: Serial 301 (April 28, 1953)
Action Date: August 25 - 26, 1952
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Company: Company H
Battalion: 3d Battalion
Regiment: 1st Marines
Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.)

He is buried in Virginia.


In 1972 Earl's father established an award at the Virginia Military Institute in his name; it is "given annually to a graduating cadet who excels in leadership."

Related Articles

Morris Reisinger '51, Jerome Stuart '51, James Laramore '51, and William Phillips '51 were also graduates of the "9th Special Basic Class" who trained at Quantico from July to December 1951.

Class of 1951

Earl is one of 48 members of the Class of 1951 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.