One of the toughest men in history, dead at age 74

tough.jpgBOISE, Idaho – David Bleak, a Korean War medic who received the Medal of Honor for rescuing a comrade amid hand-to-hand combat in 1952, has died. He was 74.

Bleak died Thursday at Lost Rivers District Hospital in Arco of complications from emphysema, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes, family members said.

Bleak was a 20-year-old sergeant in the medical company of the 223d Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division, when he volunteered to go with a reconnaissance patrol, U.S. Army records say.

The Army’s description of his actions on June 14, 1952, said Bleak killed two of the enemy with his bare hands and a third with his trench knife, and then shielded a comrade from the impact of a grenade that had fallen near the man’s helmet.

Though he was wounded in the leg, Bleak began to carry the injured soldier, the medal citation said. Attacked by two enemy soldiers with bayonets, “he grabbed them and smacked their heads together, then carried his helpless comrade down the hill to safety.” 

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