Master Sgt. Woodrow Wilson Keeble: His men called him Chief

Two Wars, and Act of Congress Medal of Honor Recipient

A full blooded native of the Souix tribe, Keeble was known in Guadalcanal during WW2 to go ahead of his men and kill every Japanese he found before they even got there, often in hand to hand combat. His preferred weapon was the Browning Automatic Rifle. After WW2 ended, Keeble was sent to Korea where he single handedly stormed a hill with three machine gun emplacements and destroyed them with grenades and his BAR. When the smoke cleared, Keeble had 83 enemy grenade fragments in him that had to be removed and many that stayed with him his whole life. After the war, he fell on hard times and had to pawn his medals (2 Silver stars, 2 Bronze Stars with “V”, 4 Purple Hearts) for money. He was never given the Medal of Honor in person (because the paperwork had not been filed) before he died, but in 2007 an act of Congress was passed to award him for his Valor. His step son Russel Hawkins accepted his award posthumously as Keeble died in 1982 aged 64. He is said to have been a man whose glass was always half full and happy go lucky.

His step son said he was the embodiment of “woyuonihan” (honor) and he lived a life of honor and respect. Valor is in you. Set it free.

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