The Medal of Honor may well be our Nation's rarest "gem", and the men who wear it are certainly our most "endangered species". Even most military veterans have never actually SEEN a Medal of Honor, much less met one of the few men authorized to display it around his neck. Since it was established in 1862 at the beginning of the Civil War, it has only been awarded to 3,491 heroes...almost half of them Civil War soldiers.
Since the beginning of World War II, only 895 Medals of Honor have been awarded. Over half that number died in their moment of heroism. Only 340 soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen from Pearl Harbor to the Global War on Terrorism have survived to actually wear the Medal. Today only 79 of them are still with us. The information below details the 895 Medals awarded from World War II to present. (There are no surviving World War I Medal of Honor recipients today.)