• First Lieutenant Samuel Vern Westerman Non-Fiction Library •
First Lieutenant Samuel Vern Westerman
Samuel Vern Westerman was born on April 4, 1927 in Utah, the son of Sydney J. and Mary Westerman. In November 1950, First Lieutenant Westerman was serving as a Forward Field Artillery Observer with Battery A, 38th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm), 2nd Infantry Division, in Korea. On 28 November, 1LT Westerman’s unit was engaged with enemy forces near Yong Byong Myon, North Korea, surrounded by a numerically superior enemy and subjected to devastating hostile fire. Company A was committed to attack, and then consolidate, on high ground. 1LT Westerman skillfully controlled artillery fire, enabling the infantry to advance, overrun enemy positions, and secure the strategic hill. Following this action, 1LT Westerman assumed a forward vantage point exposed to enemy observation in order to direct fire on the threatened area, often bringing the fire to within 100 yards of his location.
The enemy later launched a counterattack and 1LT Westerman participated in the encounter, directing artillery fire and firing his carbine and pistol. Engaged in bitter fighting and close hand-to-hand combat, the friendly forces fought tenaciously but, in the face of overwhelming odds, withdrew and yielded the key terrain. Struck by a hostile bullet, 1LT Westerman was given first aid but refused evacuation and returned to the unit. When the Company again assaulted the strongpoint, through 1LT Westerman’s expert direction of artillery fire, he laid down a curtain of heavy fire in front of the advancing infantry. After retaking the commanding ground, 1LT Westerman returned to his original position and directed continuous concentrations of fire, stopping only to assist in the evacuation of the wounded. The friendly unit held through three attacks and when ordered to withdraw, 1LT Westerman remained with the rear guard to provide protective fire for the orderly withdrawal of the company and was Killed in Action. The remains of First Lieutenant Samuel Vern Westerman have never been recovered.
1LT Westerman’s extraordinary heroism and selfless actions earned him the U.S. Army’s second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross, and
- Distinguished Service Cross
- Bronze Star
- Purple Heart
- Combat Infantryman Badge
- Marksmanship Badge
- World War II Victory Medal
- American Campaign Medal
- Korean Service Medal
- National Defense Service Medal
- Republic of Korea Presidential Citation
- Republic of Korea War Service Medal
- United Nations Service Medal
- Army Presidential Unit Citation
- Army Good Conduct Medal
We thank you Lieutenant Westerman. You are fondly remembered in the hearts of all grateful South Korean people.
Rest in peace.
October 24, 2022