A TRUE LEADER – Lt. Colonel Don Carlos Faith, Jr., U.S. Army, WW II, Korean War, Medal of Honor (1918-1950)

Lt. Colonel Don C. Faith, Jr., Medal of Honor, WWII, Korean War
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Lt. Colonel Don C. Faith, Jr., Medal of Honor, WWII, Korean War

BY DUANE A. VACHON, PH.D.    Don Carlos Faith, Jr.,  the son of Brigadier General Don Carlos Faith, was born in Washington, Indiana on August 26, 1918.  He was found to be medically unfit to attend West Point and graduated from Georgetown University.

With America’s entry into the Second World War approaching, Congress passed the Selective Service Act. Faith was called in for his draft physical, but was rejected for the same dental disqualification that thwarted his admission to the United States Military Academy. However Faith was able to appeal the draft board’s decision, and he was inducted on June 25, 1941. After completion of Officer Candidate School, he was commissioned on February 2


Faith was posted to the 82nd Airborne where he served throughout World War ll. He participated in all of the combat jumps made by the 82nd during World War ll. He served as both an aide to Brigadier General Matthew Ridgway and as a staff officer in the division.  Faith was awarded two Bronze Stars.  When the war ended he had achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

After World War II, At the end of World War ll Faith was posted to the military mission in China until it was withdrawn.

When the mission in China closed, he was assigned to the 7th Infantry Division in Japan as a battalion commander. The war in Korea broke out during In the summer of 1950. Faith along with the 7th Infantry was assigned to Korea to help stop the invasion from the north.

Faith commanded the 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry. 1st Battalion had the most northern positions which were attacked by the PLA 80th Division, which had come expecting to destroy an entire Marine Regiment. The initial Chinese attacks forced the 1st Battalion to withdraw and try to join Colonel MacLean’s main force, after heavy fighting. When Colonel MacLean was wounded and captured,  Faith took command of all Army units in Korea, hence the name Task Force Faith.

Faith was killed on December 1, 1950 near the Chosin Reservoir.  His body was never recovered.  His father Brigadier General  Don Carlos Faith, United States Army, is buried at Arlington and had arranged for his son to be memorialized on the back of his tombstone.

Faith’s name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu Hawaii.



Awards and decorations

Medal of Honor citation

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 59 (August 2, 1951)

Action Date: November 27 – December 1, 1950

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 32d Infantry Regiment

Division: 7th Infantry Division


The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) Don Carlos Faith, Jr. (ASN: 0-46673), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty while Commanding the 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, in action against enemy aggressor forces at Hagaru-ri, (Chosin Reservoir) North Korea, from 27 November to 1 December 1950. When the enemy launched a fanatical attack against his battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Faith unhesitatingly exposed himself to heavy enemy fire as he moved about directing the action. When the enemy penetrated the positions, Lieutenant Colonel Faith personally led counterattacks to restore the position. During an attack by his battalion to effect a junction with another U.S. unit, Lieutenant Colonel Faith reconnoitered the route for, and personally directed, the first elements of his command across the ice-covered reservoir and then directed the movement of his vehicles which were loaded with wounded until all of his command had passed through the enemy fire. Having completed this he crossed the reservoir himself. Assuming command of the force his unit had joined he was given the mission of attacking to join friendly elements to the south. Lieutenant Colonel Faith, although physically exhausted in the bitter cold, organized and launched an attack which was soon stopped by enemy fire. He ran forward under enemy small-arms and automatic weapons fire, got his men on their feet and personally led the fire attack as it blasted its way through the enemy ring. As they came to a hairpin curve, enemy fire from a roadblock again pinned the column down. Lieutenant Colonel Faith organized a group of men and directed their attack on the enemy positions on the right flank. He then placed himself at the head of another group of men and in the face of direct enemy fire led an attack on the enemy roadblock, firing his pistol and throwing grenades. When he had reached a position approximately 30 yards from the roadblock he was mortally wounded, but continued to direct the attack until the roadblock was overrun. Throughout the five days of action Lieutenant Colonel Faith gave no thought to his safety and did not spare himself. His presence each time in the position of greatest danger was an inspiration to his men. Also, the damage he personally inflicted firing from his position at the head of his men was of material assistance on several occasions. Lieutenant Colonel Faith’s outstanding gallantry and noble self-sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty reflect the highest honor on him and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.
(This award supersedes the prior award of the Silver Star (First Oak Leaf Cluster) as announced in G.O. No. 32, Headquarters X Corps, dated 23 February 1951, for gallantry in action on 27 November 1950.)


The information in this article was sourced from a variety of sources both internal and external.  Every effort was made to ensure that the information is current and correct. These articles are presented to honor the heroes they are written about.






  1. Lt. Col. Don C. "Paddy" Faith's remains were recently discovered and are being returned for burial at Arlington National. This will probably occur after January 1, 2013. An interstate bridge (I-69) in Daviess County, Indiana is being dedicated in part to him on October 19, 2012. Many remaining family relatives will be present. Posted by Kevin J. Hinkle, son of Carol R. Reinsel (cousin of Lt. Col. Faith, Jr.).

    • Hello Mr. Hinkle, my name is Cindy Spurrier Christie and my Mother, Lucile Lafferty was married to Don Faith from Sept 1940 to April 1941. We are very interested in Lt. Col Faith and would like to know whether or not he ever remarried and might have had any children. You can contact me at cindyschristie@yahoo.com. Thank you for
      any information you might share with me. Respectfully, Cindy Christie

      • I think you will find LTC Faith was married again as a woman named Barbara Faith was presented with his Medal of Honor by General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley on 21 June 1951 …

        You should contact the Congressional Medal of Honor Society to inquire further into this situation – COLONEL77

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