This Is Why We Stand: Lewis Lee Millett
Wars are won by men like Lewis Lee Millett. Millett’s military career spanned three wars over 35 years. Before the United States entered the Second World War, Millett was so eager to rid the world of fascism and Hitler that he enlisted with the Canadian Army to go overseas in 1941. Once America committed to the conflict that same year, he was allowed to transfer to the U.S. Army. Millett earned a Silver Star in Tunisia after he jumped into a burning ammunition-filled vehicle, driving it away from allied soldiers and leaping out before it exploded.
Millett’s Medal of Honor came during the Korean War. On February 7, 1951, he led his company in what is regarded as the last major American bayonet charge. During the attack up Hill 180 near Soam-Ni Korea, Millett had noticed that another platoon was pinned down by heavy fire. To relieve those men, he placed himself in front of two other platoons, ordered fixed bayonets, and led an assault up the heavily defended hill. During the charge, Millett bayoneted two enemy soldiers, also throwing hand grenades to continue the advance. His continued shouts of encouragement to his men propelled them to storm the enemy position, effectively driving them back. Millett had been wounded by grenade fragments during the attack, but refused evacuation until the position was taken.
His service continued during the Vietnam War in the form of an advisory role, helping to set up programs and training commando units for deployment. When reflecting on his military career, Millett said, “I believe in freedom, I believe deeply in it. I’ve fought in three wars, and volunteered for all of them, because I believed as a free man, that it was my duty to help those under the attack of tyranny. Just as simple as that.” We stand for Lewis Lee Millett and we fulfill our duty to him by remembering his name and story forever.