Rank and organization:   Hospital Apprentice First Class, U.S. Navy.
29 April 1926, Downers Grove, Ill.
Accredited to:   Illinois.
conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and
beyond the call of duty while serving as a Medical Corpsman with an Assault
Rifle Platoon, attached to the 1st Battalion, 22d Marines, 6th Marine Division,
during action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu
Chain, 8 June 1945. Quick to spot a wounded marine Iying in an open field
beyond the front lines following the relentless assault against a strategic
Japanese hill position, Lester unhesitatingly crawled toward the casualty
under a concentrated barrage from hostile machineguns, rifles, and grenades.
Torn by enemy rifle bullets as he inched forward, he stoically disregarded
the mounting fury of Japanese fire and his own pain to pull the wounded
man toward a covered position. Struck by enemy fire a second time before
he reached cover, he exerted tremendous effort and succeeded in pulling
his comrade to safety where, too seriously wounded himself to administer
aid, he instructed 2 of his squad in proper medical treatment of the rescued
marine. Realizing that his own wounds were fatal, he staunchly refused
medical attention for himself and, gathering his fast-waning strength with
calm determination, coolly and expertly directed his men in the treatment
of 2 other wounded marines, succumbing shortly thereafter. Completely selfless
in his concern for the welfare of his fighting comrades, Lester, by his
indomitable spirit, outstanding valor, and competent direction of others,
had saved the life of 1 who otherwise must have perished and had contributed
to the safety of countless others. Lester's fortitude in the face of certain
death sustains and enhances the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
He gallantly gave his life for his country.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)