National Medal of Honor Day


Pickens County, South Carolina is a great place to live and work, but on Friday, March 25, 2022, let us take a moment to reflect and remember our four Medal of Honor recipients on this Medal of Honor Day, and always. “The medal is the highest military award in our nation and Pickens County has more Medal of Honor recipients per capita than any other county in the United States. All four recipients were awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. All four men gave their lives carrying out amazing acts of bravery.” (Pickens County Courier May 2013).


Pickens County has memorials in several locations across the county in honor of these brave young men who paid the ultimate sacrifice. A small garden is dedicated to the four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients behind the Pickens County Courthouse in Pickens or the banners on display in the center courtyard at the Pickens County Administration building in Pickens,



At a special ceremony back in 2013, memorials were placed for Furman Smith at the Six Mile Fire Station, 629 Olivet Road, Six Mile, SC; for William McWhorter at the Liberty Magistrates office, 310 West Main Street, Liberty, SC; for Charles Barker at the Concord Fire Station, 756 Concord Road, Pickens, SC; and for James Howe at the Liberty Fire Station No. 2, Rices Creek Road, Liberty, SC.


WWII Medal of Honor Recipient – Central, SC

Private Furman L. Smith, U.S. Army

Born May 11, 1925, Six Mile, SC

Killed in Action near Lanuvio, Italy on May 31, 1944

Awarded Medal of Honor January 17, 1945



WWII Medal of Honor Recipient — Liberty, SC

Private First Class William Alexander McWhorter, U.S. Army

Born December 7, 1918, Liberty, SC

Killed in Action – Leyte, Philippine Island on December 5, 1944

Awarded Medal of Honor September 1945



Korean War Medal of Honor Recipient – Six Mile, SC

Born April 12, 1935, Six Mile, SC

Private First Class Charles Heyward Barker, U.S. Army

Killed in Action near Sokkogae, Korea on June 4, 1953

Awarded Medal of Honor October 27, 1954



Vietnam War Medal of Honor Recipient – Liberty, SC

Born December 17, 1948, Six Mile, SC

Lance Corporal James Donnie Howe, U.S. Marine Corps

Killed in Action Republic of Vietnam, May 6, 1970

Awarded Medal of Honor September 9, 1971