Sergeant David Bleak of the U.S. Army's 40th Infantry Division wasn't slogging through the Korean brush on June 14th, 1952 looking for people who needed their asses kicked. It was quite the opposite in fact. Because of his large size and incredible physical strength, Sgt. Bleak had been selected during boot camp to serve as a combat medic - one of the most dangerous jobs any soldier could possibly have. His mission was to put himself into life-threatening situations on a daily basis, pull wounded men off the battlefield to safety and administer medical first aid to them.
Now risking your neck to save lives is noble enough to begin with. During Sgt. Bleak's service in the Korean War he saved countless wounded young men from death, torture or capture at the hands of North Korean and Chinese forces. That alone makes him a hero. But his actions on this day would make also him a total fucking badass.
Bleak had volunteered to join up with a recon patrol assigned the task of capturing a Chinese soldier for interrogation purposes. They had located a small unit of enemy troops dug in at the top of Hill 499 in northeastern Korea, and quickly began their ascent up the rugged hillside. Well the commies were ready for them. Almost immediately, the patrol came under intense machinegun fire from all around. The Americans took cover, and Bleak went to work patching up the men who were unlucky enough to have a first-hand encounter with 7.62 millimeters of hot lead. Despite still taking fire from the enemy positions, the US troops were able to regroup and continue their climb up the hill. Sgt. Bleak's fire team headed up the hill in one direction while a second team went around the side in an attempt to flank the Chinese troops. As he neared the top of the hill, Bleak looked over and saw a couple of his men drop from enemy fire. He knew what he had to do.
Sgt. Bleak put his head down and charged over to aid his wounded comerades. Before he got too far, he came under rifle fire from a concealed trench nearby. Knowing that his men needed him, Bleak didn't run for cover - he fucking charged the enemy position. He leapt into the trench coming down hard on top of a Chinese soldier, breaking his neck. He popped up and found himself face-to-face with a second trooper. Without hesitation, Bleak reached out his massive right hand and crushed that motherfucker's windpipe. A third dude ran up to see if he could take out this American beast who was smacking down all his buddies, and found himself saying hello to the pointy end of Sgt. Bleak's combat knife.
With those three assholes down, Bleak got back to the mission at hand. He ran over and started giving first aid to the wounded. While he was working, he looked over at one of his friends and saw a motherfucking live hand grenade bounce of his helmet. Bleak tackled that guy, shielding him from the blast. He then calmly went back to work while the Americans continued to clear the hill of enemy soldiers.
After he had stabilized everyone he could, he glanced up to see three more US troops go down, victims of a hidden machinegun nest. Bleak rushed out to see if they could be helped and quickly took a bullet to the leg. Despite his injury, he made it to the downed soldiers. He found that two of them could get back on their own, but the third man was half-dead and unable to walk. Bleak ignored his own wound, hoisted this guy up on his shoulders and made his way back towards safety.
But his adventure wasn't over yet. As he was lugging his semi-conscious patient down the hill, two Chinese soldiers leapt out of the brush and faced him, brandishing their rifles with bayonets fixed and yelling. Bleak took one look at them, lowered his man to the ground, cracked his knuckles, and probably said something to the effect of, "Things are looking bleak for you fellas."
The soldiers rushed him, thrusting their bayonets at his chest. Sgt. Bleak sidestepped their lunges, grabbed their heads and cracked them together like coconuts. They both fell to the ground dead.
In my mind, I picture it going down something like this:
That's bad fucking ass. Not only did Sgt. Bleak disregard his own personal safety to save the lives of several members of his Company, but he took out five enemy soldiers with his bare hands, even going so far as to use a move generally reserved for guys like Mr. T.
I pity the fool who messes with David Bleak.
Medal of Honor Citation
The Complete List
About the Author