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Catalog Data

Manufactured by:
Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, American, founded 1941  Search this
Subject of:
Sergeant Cornelius H. Charlton, American, 1929 - 1951  Search this
Received by:
Fairy Mae Penn Papadopoulus, American, died 2010  Search this
Used by:
United States Army, American, founded 1775  Search this
H x W x D (2015.193.2.1): 2 5/8 × 7/16 × 7/16 in. (6.7 × 1.1 × 1.1 cm)
H x W x D (2015.193.2.2): 2 9/16 × 7/16 × 7/16 in. (6.5 × 1.1 × 1.1 cm)
H x W x D (2015.193.2.3): 2 9/16 × 7/16 × 7/16 in. (6.5 × 1.1 × 1.1 cm)
cases (ammunition components)
Place used:
Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia, United States, North and Central America
These shell casings held bullets fired during the burial ceremony of Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Cornelius Charlton. Military personnel are honored with a three-volley salute during burial services. The salutes are linked to early battlefield customs that called for a cease-fire to care for the dead and wounded. Sergeant Charlton served in C Company, 24th Infantry Regiment, during the Korean War. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions on June 2, 1951, near Chipo-ri, Korea. After his wounded platoon leader was evacuated during an attack to capture Hill 543, Charlton "rallied the men" and led them on three separate assaults. During the first assault, he eliminated two enemy positions, killing six. Although seriously wounded in the next two assaults, Charlton conducted a fourth assault alone. He was wounded again by a grenade but silenced the enemy guns before he died. Sergeant Charlton was originally buried at Pocahontas Cemetery in Pocahontas, Virginia, before he was re-interred at the American Legion Cemetery in Beckley, West Virginia, in 1990. On November 12, 2008, he was re-interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
Three spent cases from a three-volley salute at Sergeant Cornelius H. Charlton's reburial service. Bottom, flat surface, has indented hole in center, surrounded by indented circle. The headstamp reads [LC / 89]. Top of shell casing has been shaped similarly to a dulled 5-point star.
African American  Search this
Funeral customs and rites  Search this
Korean War, 1950-1953  Search this
Military  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of George "Everett" Penn, Jr.
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Collection title:
Sergeant Cornelius H. Charlton Collection
Religious and Sacred Objects
Tools and Equipment-Weapons and ammunition
Double Victory: The African American Military Experience
On View:
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Community/Third Floor, 3 053
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture