Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

March 9, 2014

Vet to be inducted into hall of fame

Tim Preston
The Independent

WURTLAND — Greenup County’s surviving Medal of Honor recipient Ernie West will soon be inducted to the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame.

West’s daughter, Amy West Hogsett, said she and her father will fly from the Ashland Regional Airport in Worthington to Frankfort Tuesday, departing locally at 1 p.m. West and his daughter will attend a gala that evening, and attend the induction ceremony the following afternoon.

The purpose of the hall of fame is “to honor Kentucky military veterans and to educate through the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame website their outstanding accomplishments.”

During the organization’s inaugural banquet, West will be among numerous Kentucky military veterans who will be inducted into the hall of fame and awarded the Hall of Fame Medallion recognizing their military service to the nation and to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, according to the KVHOF website. “The inductees will be selected for their valorous military service to our country and for their combined military/civilian service to our community, state and nation.”

Born Sept. 2, 1931, in Russell, West was drafted from Wurtland in 1950, according to his Wikipedia entry.

“By Oct. 12, 1952, he was serving in Korea as a private first class with Company L, 14th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. After his unit was ambushed near Sataeri on that day, he ran through heavy fire to rescue his wounded commander, Capt. George Gividen. As he was pulling the man to safety, three hostile soldiers attacked. West shielded the commander with his body and killed the attackers with his rifle, suffering a wound which resulted in the loss of his eye in the process. Despite this injury, he remained on the field and assisted in the evacuation of other wounded men, at one point killing three more hostile soldiers. For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor just over a year later, on January 29, 1954.”

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.