“In the fierce charge Capt. Millett bayoneted 2 enemy soldiers and boldly continued on, throwing grenades, clubbing and bayoneting the enemy, while urging his men forward by shouting encouragement. Despite vicious opposing fire, the whirlwind hand-to-hand assault carried to the crest of the hill.”
Millet the recipient of the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, 3 Legion of Merit’s, 3 Bronze Stars, 4 Purple Hearts, and 2 Air Medals.
Lewis Millett really hated Nazis. I know that most of you think that Indiana Jones cornered the market on hating those guys, but Millett really took it to a whole new level. This guy was so cheesed off at Hitler and his goose-stepping morons that in early 1940 he dropped out of high school as a junior to go enlist in the Army and help the world teach Der Führer that messing with freedom and democracy was like the political equivalent of sending up a giant Bat-Signal with the words “Please Come Kick My Ass” engraved on there instead of a bat. Well, this was great and all, but back in 1940 the United States had a pretty strict policy of not intervening in Europe’s bullshit, and President Roosevelt kept coming out on the radio being all like, “whatever we’re not going to go to war with the Nazis (even though they really deserve it).” However, unfortunately for Uncle Adolf, Lewis Millett held no such isolationist policies – when it looked like the U.S. wasn’t going to get in on the Fascist-pummeling annihilation, he deserted the Army, hitchhiked up to Canada, and joined the Canadian Army instead. The Canadians were like, “eh, whatever,” and trained him in gunnery, anti-aircraft warfare, and radar system operation, before shipping him off to London to help their British buddies deal with the annoying stream of V-2 rockets and aircraft bombs that were constantly pummeling the English countryside during the Blitz.
Well in 1941 a few thousand pounds of Japanese torpedoes finally convinced the U.S. that beating the crap out of the Axis Powers was a pretty decent idea, and it turns out that it wasn’t that big of a deal for Millet to transfer over to the United States Army. He was sent to North Africa with the 1st Armored Division, where he spent six months fighting Rommel’sAfrikakorps and having the pleasure of watching the 37mm rounds from his anti-tank cannon bounce off the ultra-thick armor of the German Panzers. It’s not like that stopped this insane Jackhammer of Democracy from pneumatically ramming his foot up the Fascists’, however – not long into his deployment he received a Bronze Star for shooting down a German fighter plane that was coming in low for a strafing run. The Me-109 was zooming in low over the desert, so Millet jumped into the back of a half-track and used the truck-mounted machine gun to shoot the driver in the face, somehow putting a round through the cockpit of an airplane going 300 miles per hour and depositing it into the ocular cavity of the pilot. Just in case this didn’t sound quite enough like the sort of insanity that you generally don’t see outside of completely balls-out cheesy 1980’s action movies, Millet earned a Silver Star for running up to a burning half-track, jumping in the driver’s seat, hauling ass away from his men, and then leaping out of the moving vehicle seconds before it exploded.
Millet was a Sergeant kicking asses in Italy when his superiors finally figured out that he had at one point deserted the Army. He was court-martialed and convicted of desertion, but because this crazy bastard was such a face-rending hardass, he was just fined fifty-two dollars and told to “please never let it happen again.” Then, just to show that there were no hard feelings, they promoted him to Lieutenant a couple weeks later. Millett would later claim that he was probably the only man to make Colonel after being court-martialed for desertion, which is probably true. Then again, when you leave the armed forces of your country because they aren’t kicking enough asses for your liking, I guess it’s kind of hard to argue with your qualifications as a badass.
Apparently the Second World War wasn’t enough carnage for Millett, because when the Korean Conflict rolled around in the 1950s he still had quite a bit of fuel left in his Asskicking Tank. It was while serving as Captain of Company E of the 27th Infantry Regiment that Lewis Millett commanded the actions that earned him the Medal of Honor.
One day, while fighting in Korea, Millett and his men came across a note talking about how the Chinese thought the Americans were pussies who were afraid of cold steel and hand-to-hand combat. Obviously this made Lewis Millett so pissed off that he bit his own rifle in half, and he resolved then and there to provide the enemy with a first-hand demonstration of just how frightened he was of punching people with the broken-off remnants of a combat knife. It wasn’t long before he had his chance. During the fighting for Hill 180, the 1st Platoon of Company E was pinned down by heavy fire from North Korean and Chinese machine guns, anti-tank rifles, and small arms. Millett immediately told his men to fix bayonets and prepare for some neck-stabbing. He personally ran out in front of his men, and led 2nd and 3rd Platoon on a charge across an exposed rice paddy, up a 200-foot high snow-covered hill, and straight into enemy bunkers packed with 200 entrenched enemy soldiers. Millett, leading from the front, personally bayoneted two enemy soldiers, clubbed a couple more into submission with the stock of his rifle, threw a bunch of grenades all over the place, and shouted words of encouragement to his men. He was wounded by a grenade, but obviously it would take more than a gaping slash caused by a red-hot piece of metal shrapnel to slow this crazy badass down. He refused to be evacuated until the hill was captured, urging his men to fight on and kick asses. 47 of the 200 defenders of Hill 180 were killed (18 by bayonet), the rest retreated, and 1st Platoon was saved with minimal casualties.
If this seems completely crazy to you, that’s because it is. To Lewis Millett, however, that was so nice he had to do it twice – later that same month he received the Distinguished Service Cross for leading ANOTHER goddamned bayonet charge, this one with similar results. It would be what is now referred to as the last bayonet charge in American military history, which is pretty understandable if you ask me. There really aren’t too many people out there crazy enough to order fixed bayonets against a row of automatic weapons, but that was pretty much par for the course for Lewis Millett and His Awesome ‘Stache.
After Korea, Lewis Millett completed Ranger training and founded the famous Recondo School to train reconnaissance commandos in Vietnam. He served throughout the Vietnam War, and retired a Colonel in the Army. He died of CHF on November 14th, a veteran of three wars, and hellacious kicker of Commie-Nazi asses, and a hell of a tough guy.
The Giant Killer book & page honors these incredible war heroes making sure their stories of valor and sacrifice are never forgotten. God Bless our Vets!
Story by Badass of the Week