Kern Co. man posthumously awarded Distinguished Service Cross

WASHINGTON (KBAK/KBFX) A Randsburg man was posthumously honored Tuesday with a Distinguished Service Cross for his heroics in the Korean War.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy, of Bakersfield, and Army officials presented the medal to Pamela Keiser for her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Robert Keiser. The ceremony took place in McCarthy's Capitol office.

On Nov. 30, 1950, while serving as a military policeman, Keiser saved "countless" soldiers within his division by single-handedly removing a major roadblock under constant enemy fire during a battle that became known as "The Gauntlet," according to the congressman's office.

Keiser and his convoy approached a roadblock consisting of at least 20 damaged or abandoned American vehicles.

"With complete disregard for his own safety, Sergeant First Class Keiser bounded forward under intense enemy fire and personally moved all the vehicles," McCarthy's office stated in a news release.

The sergeant also loaded dead and wounded soldiers into vehicles he could get running, so they could be driven to safety.

After clearing the roadblock, Keiser stood for an hour in a cold stream so he could direct the division convoy.