EDWARD P. STAMFORD
Major | Marine Corps
Red tape and political difficulties between three services diminished Stamford's recommendation for the Medal of Honor to an award of the Silver Star for his heroism at the Chosin reservoir. Beginning on November 27, 1950 Captain Stamford did not hesitate to fulfill the needs of not just the battalion he was attached to, but ultimately the entire 31st RCT during their most desperate hour.
Major General Harris, 1st Marine Air Wing commander, wrote to the 7th Division assistant commander Major General Hodes stating that Stamford "rated a top notch decoration and that it looked to me that it was pretty close to a Medal of Honor." But by the time the recommendation processed from the Marine Corps through the Navy and to the Army, Headquarters, X Corps had a lengthy citation for a Silver Star, and so it was written.
Perhaps one reason is that any witnesses to endorse a higher award were all killed between the entrapment and the breakout. Such was the case at the Chosin, and the issuance of awards was dramatically unbalanced between the east and west sides - not due to any lack of heroism, but because so many perished in the icy hills never to tell their story or that of others.
Despite his status as an aviator, Stamford did a little gravel crunching in Korea, as he referred to it. After pioneering the Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO), the services saw the benefits of using these Tactical Air Control Parties beyond the beachhead, putting Stamford miles in country with his team attached to the 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry.
One of the few to survive the entrapment - one of fewer to make it through the breakout - Major Edward P. Stamford is one legendary Marine.