In 1951, Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army 1st Lt. Benjamin F. Wilson found a weapon of last resort in the entrenching tool.
His unit had come upon a much larger enemy force in Hwach’on-Myon, Korea. Wilson dashed into enemy fire to assist members of his unit who were pinned down and he killed four enemy fighters with his rifle and grenades.
Wilson then “led a bayonet attack, which … killed approximately 27 hostile soldiers,” according to his Medal of Honor citation.
But enemy forces launched another counterattack.
“First Lieutenant Wilson, realizing the imminent threat of being overrun, made a determined lone-man charge, killing seven and wounding two of the enemy, and routing the remainder in disorder.”
A third assault ensued, prompting Wilson to resort to fighting with his entrenching tool.