b. 1931 Brooklyn, New York. d. 07/03/1951 Yanpyong, Korea.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 07/03/1951 Yanpyong, Korea.
Leonard M. Kravitz was born and raised in 1931 in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were Jean (Kaufman) and Joseph Kravitz.
Private Kravitz was the younger brother of filmmaker and TV producer Sy Kravitz and uncle of musician Lenny Kravitz. On March 6 and 7, 1951, Kravitz' unit's positions at Yangpyong were overrun by the enemy. Kravitz voluntarily manned a machine-gun position, forcing the enemy to direct its efforts against him and helping his comrades to retreat at the cost of his own life.
Kravitz was reported to have shouted to his comrades, "Get the hell out of here while you can!" When American troops retook their position, they found that Kravitz had killed a large number of enemy soldiers before dying in action. The award was made as a result of the Defense Authorization Act, which called for a review of Jewish American and Hispanic American veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to ensure that no prejudice was shown to those deserving the Medal of Honor.
Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an assistant machinegunner with Company M, 5th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Yangpyong, Korea on March 6 and 7, 1951. After friendly elements had repulsed two probing attacks, the enemy launched a fanatical banzai charge with heavy supporting fire and, despite staggering losses, pressed the assault with ruthless determination. When the machinegunner was wounded in the initial phase of the action, Private First Class Kravitz immediately seized the weapon and poured devastating fire into the ranks of the onrushing assailants. The enemy effected and exploited a breach on the left flank, rendering the friendly positions untenable. Upon order to withdraw, Private First Class Kravitz voluntarily remained to provide protective fire for the retiring elements. Detecting enemy troops moving toward friendly positions, Private First Class Kravitz swept the hostile soldiers with deadly, accurate fire, killing the entire group. His destructive retaliation caused the enemy to concentrate vicious fire on his position and enabled the friendly elements to withdraw. Later, after friendly troops had returned, Private First Class Kravitz was found dead behind the gun he had so heroically manned, surrounded by numerous enemy dead. Private First Class Kravitz’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
BURIAL LOCATION: MOUNT CARMEL CEMETERY, GLENDALE, NEW YORK.
Section 5, Block E, Lot 535, Grave 3
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