More often than not the action that leads one to receive the Medal of Honor also results in the death of the individual involved.  In this section we offer a visual analysis of Georgia's identified Medal of Honor recipients in a number of ways to help understand and appreciate the sacrifice of the recipients.

Citation Date

The first Medal of Honor received by a Georgian was Gunners Mate George W. Leland who was cited for his courage on November 16, 1863 in Charleston, South Carolina.


The last Georgian to be recognized was Staff Sergeant Hammett Lee Bowen, Jr. who died on June 27, 1969 in Binh Duong Province, Republic of Vietnam.


For the 27 Georgians who received the Medal of Honor several fought in more than one war.


Collectively the recipients fought in 5 different wars.


More Georgia received the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War than any other, which is somewhat surprising given the number of troops that were mobilized for World War II.


No Georgians received a Medal of Honor in either the Spanish American War or World War I.


4 recipients are still living and all of these received their Medal for action in Vietnam (15%)

13 died as a direct result of the actions for which they received the Medal (48%)

10 Survived the action that resulted in Medal of Honor recognition, but died later. (37%)   Several of these men died in later action during the same or a subsequent war.

Birth Location

25 of the 27 recipients in Georgia were born in Georgia.


4 of Georgia's 159 counties produced 2 recipients, Coweta County, Fulton County, Muscogee County, and Troup.


1 was born in North Carolina and one in South Carolina.


Harold Bascom Durham, Jr. was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, but by the time of the Vietnam War his family had moved to Tift County, Georgia.  He entered the service in Atlanta, Georgia.


Ernest Albert Garlington was born in Newberry, South Carolina.  He was educated at the University of Georgia and entered the service in Athens, Georgia.

Birth Location Population

Of the 27 recipients, all but 4 were born in counties with populations below 50,000.


Two-thirds were born in counties with populations below 30,000, and an astounding 50% were born in counties with populations of less than 20,000.

Citation Age

Only 1 recipient was under the age of 20, Luther Herschel Story from Buena Vista, Georgia.


The oldest recipient is Joe Madison Jackson from Coweta County, Georgia who received his medal at the age of 45.


Of the four living recipients, three were in their 20s and only Joe Jackson was older.


There are 16 officers and 11 enlisted men.


The highest ranking recipients are Lieutenant Colonels, and the lowest ranking recipient was a Gunners Mate.

Service Branch

Not surprisingly there are more Army recipients (13) than any other branch of the service.


The Marine Corps recipients (10) are a close second, and there are two each for the Air Force and Navy.

Copyright 2013 Hilliard A Wilbanks Foundation