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Ola Lee Mize

Date of birth: August 28, 1931
Date of death: March 12, 2014
Burial location: East Gadsden, Alabama
Place of Birth: Alabama, Albertville
Home of record: Gadsden Alabama

In the early 1960s Ola Mize joined the new and fledgling Army Special Forces (Green Beret). He spent 20 years among these Army elite, including commanding the special Forces Schools at Fort Bragg and nearly four years of duty in Vietnam, during which he was shot three times.


Medal of Honor

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Major Ola Lee Mize, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company K, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Surang-ni, Korea, on 10 and 11 June 1953. Company K was committed to the defense of "Outpost Harry", a strategically valuable position, when the enemy launched a heavy attack. Learning that a comrade on a friendly listening post had been wounded Sergeant Major Mize moved through the intense barrage, accompanied by a medical aid man, and rescued the wounded soldier. On returning to the main position he established an effective defense system and inflicted heavy casualties against attacks from determined enemy assault forces which had penetrated into trenches within the outpost area. During his fearless actions he was blown down by artillery and grenade blasts three times but each time he dauntlessly returned to his position, tenaciously fighting and successfully repelling hostile attacks. When enemy onslaughts ceased he took his few men and moved from bunker to bunker, firing through apertures and throwing grenades at the foe, neutralizing their positions. When an enemy soldier stepped out behind a comrade, prepared to fire, Master Sergeant Mize killed him, saving the life of his fellow soldier. After rejoining the platoon, moving from man to man, distributing ammunition, and shouting words of encouragement he observed a friendly machinegun position overrun. He immediately fought his way to the position, killing ten of the enemy and dispersing the remainder. Fighting back to the command post, and finding several friendly wounded there, he took a position to protect them. Later, securing a radio, he directed friendly artillery fire upon the attacking enemy's routes of approach. At dawn he helped regroup for a counterattack which successfully drove the enemy from the outpost. Master Sergeant Mize's valorous conduct and unflinching courage reflect lasting glory upon himself and uphold the noble traditions of the military service.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 70 (September 24, 1954)

Action Date: June 10 & 11, 1953

Service: Army

Rank: Sergeant Major

Company: Company K

Regiment: 15th Infantry Regiment

Division: 3d Infantry Division