Ben L. Salomon
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Benjamin Lewis Salomon ( July 7, 1944) was a United States Army dentist during World War II, assigned as a front-line surgeon. When the Japanese started overrunning his hospital, he stood a rear-guard action in which he had no hope of personal survival, allowing the safe evacuation of the wounded, killing at least 98 enemy troops before being killed himself during the Battle of Saipan. In 2002, Salomon posthumously received the Medal of Honor. He is one of only three dental officers to have received the medal, the others being Alexander Gordon Lyle and Weedon Osborne.
Salomon was born into a Jewish family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 1, 1914. He was an Eagle Scout, one of nine who were awarded the Medal of Honor. He graduated from Shorewood High School and attended Marquette University, before transferring to the University of Southern California, where he completed his undergraduate degree. He graduated from the USC Dental School in 1937 and began a dental practice.
In 1940, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and began his military service as an infantry private, qualifying expert in rifle and pistol. In 1942, he was notified that he would become an officer in the Army Dental Corps and was commissioned a first lieutenant. The 102nd Infantry Regt. commanding officer declared him the unit's "best all around soldier". On August 14, 1942. In May 1943, he was serving as the regimental dental officer of the 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division. He was promoted to the rank of captain in 1944.〔
In June 1944, Salomon saw his first combat — going ashore on Saipan with the 105th Infantry. With little dental work to do during active combat, Salomon volunteered to replace the 2nd Battalion's surgeon, who had been wounded. As the 2nd Battalion advanced, casualties were high. On July 7, Salomon's aid station was set up only 50 yards behind the forward foxhole line. Fighting was heavy and a major Japanese assault soon overran the perimeter, then the aid station. Salomon was able to kill the enemy that entered the hospital tent and ordered the wounded to be evacuated, while he stayed to cover their withdrawal.〔
When an Army team returned to the site days later, Salomon's body was found slumped over a machine gun, with the bodies of 98 enemy troops piled up in front of his position. His body had 76 bullet wounds and many bayonet wounds, up to 24 of which may have been received while he was still alive.〔〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=News Stories frrom the Archives )〕
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