World War II Medal of Honor Recipients (U-Z)
- Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel (then Captain), 2d Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, World War II.
- Place and date: Renouf, France, 14 June to 3 September 1944.
- Entered service at: Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 2 July 1941.
- Birth: 25 August 1919, Buffalo, New York.
- Citation: Lieutenant Colonel (then Captain) Matt Urban,
l 12-22-2414, United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series
of bold, heroic actions, exemplified by singularly outstanding combat leadership,
personal bravery, and tenacious devotion to duty, during the period 14
June to 3 September 1944 while assigned to the 2d Battalion, 60th Infantry
Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. On 14 June, Captain Urban's company, attacking
at Renouf, France, encountered heavy enemy small arms and tank fire. The
enemy tanks were unmercifully raking his unit's positions and inflicting
heavy casualties. Captain Urban, realizing that his company was in imminent
danger of being decimated, armed himself with a bazooka. He worked his
way with an ammo carrier through hedgerows, under a continuing barrage
of fire, to a point near the tanks. He brazenly exposed himself to the
enemy fire and, firing the bazooka, destroyed both tanks. Responding to
Captain Urban's action, his company moved forward and routed the enemy.
Later that same day, still in the attack near Orglandes, Captain Urban
was wounded in the leg by direct fire from a 37mm tank-gun. He refused
evacuation and continued to lead his company until they moved into defensive
positions for the night. At 0500 hours the next day, still in the attack
near Orglandes, Captain Urban, though badly wounded, directed his company
in another attack. One hour later he was again wounded. Suffering from
two wounds, one serious, he was evacuated to England. In mid-July, while
recovering from his wounds, he learned of his unit's severe losses in the
hedgerows of Normandy. Realizing his unit's need for battle-tested leaders,
he voluntarily left the hospital and hitchhiked his way back to his unit
hear St. Lo, France. Arriving at the 2d Battalion Command Post at 1130
hours, 25 July, he found that his unit had jumped-off at 1100 hours in
the first attack of Operation Cobra." Still limping from his leg wound,
Captain Urban made his way forward to retake command of his company. He
found his company held up by strong enemy opposition. Two supporting tanks
had been destroyed and another, intact but with no tank commander or gunner,
was not moving. He located a lieutenant in charge of the support tanks
and directed a plan of attack to eliminate the enemy strong-point. The
lieutenant and a sergeant were immediately killed by the heavy enemy fire
when they tried to mount the tank. Captain Urban, though physically hampered
by his leg wound and knowing quick action had to be taken, dashed through
the scathing fire and mounted the tank. With enemy bullets ricocheting
from the tank, Captain Urban ordered the tank forward and, completely exposed
to the enemy fire, manned the machine gun and placed devastating fire on
the enemy. His action, in the face of enemy fire, galvanized the battalion
into action and they attacked and destroyed the enemy position. On 2 August,
Captain Urban was wounded in the chest by shell fragments and, disregarding
the recommendation of the Battalion Surgeon, again refused evacuation.
On 6 August, Captain Urban became the commander of the 2d Battalion. On
15 August, he was again wounded but remained with his unit. On 3 September,
the 2d Battalion was given the mission of establishing a crossing-point
on the Meuse River near Heer, Belgium. The enemy planned to stop the advance
of the allied Army by concentrating heavy forces at the Meuse. The 2d Battalion,
attacking toward the crossing-point, encountered fierce enemy artillery,
small arms and mortar fire which stopped the attack. Captain Urban quickly
moved from his command post to the lead position of the battalion. Reorganizing
the attacking elements, he personally led a charge toward the enemy's strong-point.
As the charge moved across the open terrain, Captain Urban was seriously
wounded in the neck. Although unable to talk above a whisper from the paralyzing
neck wound, and in danger of losing his life, he refused to be evacuated
until the enemy was routed and his battalion had secured the crossing-point
on the Meuse River. Captain Urban's personal leadership, limitless bravery,
and repeated extraordinary exposure to enemy fire served as an inspiration
to his entire battalion. His valorous and intrepid actions reflect the
utmost credit on him and uphold the noble traditions of the United States
*VALDEZ, JOSE F.
- Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 7th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Near Rosenkrantz, France, 25 January 1945.
- Entered service at: Pleasant Grove, Utah.
- Birth: Governador, N. Mex.
- G.O. No.: 16, 8 February 1946.
- Citation: He was on outpost duty
with 5 others when the enemy counterattacked with overwhelming strength.
From his position near some woods 500 yards beyond the American lines he
observed a hostile tank about 75 yards away, and raked it with automatic
rifle fire until it withdrew. Soon afterward he saw 3 Germans stealthily
approaching through the woods. Scorning cover as the enemy soldiers opened
up with heavy automatic weapons fire from a range of 30 yards, he engaged
in a fire fight with the attackers until he had killed all 3. The enemy
quickly launched an attack with 2 full companies of infantrymen, blasting
the patrol with murderous concentrations of automatic and rifle fire and
beginning an encircling movement which forced the patrol leader to order
a withdrawal. Despite the terrible odds, Pfc. Valdez immediately volunteered
to cover the maneuver, and as the patrol 1 by 1 plunged through a hail
of bullets toward the American lines, he fired burst after burst into the
swarming enemy. Three of his companions were wounded in their dash for
safety and he was struck by a bullet that entered his stomach and, passing
through his body, emerged from his back. Overcoming agonizing pain, he
regained control of himself and resumed his firing position, delivering
a protective screen of bullets until all others of the patrol were safe.
By field telephone he called for artillery and mortar fire on the Germans
and corrected the range until he had shells falling within 50 yards of
his position. For 15 minutes he refused to be dislodged by more than 200
of the enemy; then, seeing that the barrage had broken the counter attack,
he dragged himself back to his own lines. He died later as a result of
his wounds. Through his valiant, intrepid stand and at the cost of his
own life, Pfc. Valdez made it possible for his comrades to escape, and
was directly responsible for repulsing an attack by vastly superior enemy
*VANCE, LEON R., Jr (Air Mission)
- Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Corps, 489th Bomber Group.
- Place and date: Over Wimereaux. France, 5 June 1944.
- Entered service at. Garden City, N.Y.
- Birth: 11 August 1916, Enid, Okla .
- G.O. No.: 1, 4 January 1945.
- Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above
and beyond the call of duty on 5 June 1944, when he led a Heavy Bombardment
Group, in an attack against defended enemy coastal positions in the vicinity
of Wimereaux, France. Approaching the target, his aircraft was hit repeatedly
by antiaircraft fire which seriously crippled the ship, killed the pilot,
and wounded several members of the crew, including Lt. Col. Vance, whose
right foot was practically severed. In spite of his injury, and with 3
engines lost to the flak, he led his formation over the target, bombing
it successfully. After applying a tourniquet to his leg with the aid of
the radar operator, Lt. Col. Vance, realizing that the ship was approaching
a stall altitude with the 1 remaining engine failing, struggled to a semi-upright
position beside the copilot and took over control of the ship. Cutting
the power and feathering the last engine he put the aircraft in glide sufficiently
steep to maintain his airspeed. Gradually losing altitude, he at last reached
the English coast, whereupon he ordered all members of the crew to bail
out as he knew they would all safely make land. But he received a message
over the interphone system which led him to believe 1 of the crewmembers
was unable to jump due to injuries; so he made the decision to ditch the
ship in the channel, thereby giving this man a chance for life. To add
further to the danger of ditching the ship in his crippled condition, there
was a 500-pound bomb hung up in the bomb bay. Unable to climb into the
seat vacated by the copilot, since his foot, hanging on to his leg by a
few tendons, had become lodged behind the copilot's seat, he nevertheless
made a successful ditching while lying on the floor using only aileron
and elevators for control and the side window of the cockpit for visual
reference. On coming to rest in the water the aircraft commenced to sink
rapidly with Lt. Col. Vance pinned in the cockpit by the upper turret which
had crashed in during the landing. As it was settling beneath the waves
an explosion occurred which threw Lt. Col. Vance clear of the wreckage.
After clinging to a piece of floating wreckage until he could muster enough
strength to inflate his life vest he began searching for the crewmember
whom he believed to be aboard. Failing to find anyone he began swimming
and was found approximately 50 minutes later by an Air-Sea Rescue craft.
By his extraordinary flying skill and gallant leadership, despite his grave
injury, Lt. Col. Vance led his formation to a successful bombing of the
assigned target and returned the crew to a point where they could bail
out with safety. His gallant and valorous decision to ditch the aircraft
in order to give the crewmember he believed to be aboard a chance for life
exemplifies the highest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces.
VANDEGRIFT, ALEXANDER ARCHER
- Rank and organization: Major General, U.S. Marine Corps, commanding officer of the 1st Marine Division.
- Place and date: Solomon Islands, 7 August to 9 December 1942.
- Entered service at: Virginia.
- Birth: 13 March 1887, Charlottesville, Va.
- Citation: For outstanding and heroic accomplishment
above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the 1st Marine Division in operations against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands
during the period 7 August to 9 December 1942. With the adverse factors
of weather, terrain, and disease making his task a difficult and hazardous
undertaking, and with his command eventually including sea, land, and air
forces of Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, Maj. Gen. Vandegrift achieved marked
success in commanding the initial landings of the U.S. forces in the Solomon
Islands and in their subsequent occupation. His tenacity, courage, and
resourcefulness prevailed against a strong, determined, and experienced
enemy, and the gallant fighting spirit of the men under his inspiring leadership
enabled them to withstand aerial, land, and sea bombardment, to surmount
all obstacles, and leave a disorganized and ravaged enemy. This dangerous
but vital mission, accomplished at the constant risk of his life, resulted
in securing a valuable base for further operations of our forces against
the enemy, and its successful completion reflects great credit upon Maj.
Gen. Vandegrift, his command, and the U.S. Naval Service.
*VAN NOY, JUNIOR
- Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Headquarters Company, Shore Battalion, Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment.
- Place and date: Near Finschafen, New Guinea, 17 October 1943.
- Entered service at: Preston, Idaho.
- Birth: Grace, Idaho.
- G.O. No.: 17, 26 February 1944.
- Citation: For conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with
the enemy near Finschafen, New Guinea, on 17 October 1943. When wounded
late in September, Pvt. Van Noy declined evacuation and continued on duty.
On 17 October 1943 he was gunner in charge of a machinegun post only 5
yards from the water's edge when the alarm was given that 3 enemy barges
loaded with troops were approaching the beach in the early morning darkness.
One landing barge was sunk by Allied fire, but the other 2 beached 10 yards
from Pvt. Van Noy's emplacement. Despite his exposed position, he poured
a withering hail of fire into the debarking enemy troops. His loader was
wounded by a grenade and evacuated. Pvt. Van Noy, also grievously wounded,
remained at his post, ignoring calls of nearby soldiers urging him to withdraw,
and continued to fire with deadly accuracy. He expended every round and
was found, covered with wounds dead beside his gun. In this action Pvt.
Van Noy killed at least half of the 39 enemy taking part in the landing.
His heroic tenacity at the price of his life not only saved the lives of
many of his comrades, but enabled them to annihilate the attacking detachment.
*VAN VALKENBURGH, FRANKLIN
- Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Navy, U.S.S. Arizona.
- Place and date: Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.
- Birth: 5 April 1888, Minneapolis, Minn.
- Appointed from: Wisconsin.
- Citation: For conspicuous devotion to
duty, extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his own life, during
the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor T.H., by Japanese forces on 7 December
1941. As commanding officer of the U.S.S. Arizona, Capt. Van Valkenburgh
gallantly fought his ship until the U.S.S. Arizona blew up from magazine
explosions and a direct bomb hit on the bridge which resulted in the loss
of his life.
*VAN VOORHIS, BRUCE AVERY
- Rank and organization: Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, Squadron Commander, Bombing Squadron 102.
- Place and date: Solomon Islands, 6 July 1943.
- Birth: 29 January 1908, Aberdeen, Wash.
- Appointed from: Nevada.
- Citation: For conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty as Squadron Commander of Bombing Squadron 102 and as Plane
Commander of a PB4Y-I Patrol Bomber operating against the enemy on Japanese-held
Greenwich Island during the battle of the Solomon Islands, 6 July 1943.
Fully aware of the limited chance of surviving an urgent mission, voluntarily
undertaken to prevent a surprise Japanese attack against our forces, Lt.
Comdr. Van Voorhis took off in total darkness on a perilous 700-mile flight
without escort or support. Successful in reaching his objective despite
treacherous and varying winds, low visibility and difficult terrain, he
fought a lone but relentless battle under fierce antiaircraft fire and
overwhelming aerial opposition. Forced lower and lower by pursuing planes,
he coolly persisted in his mission of destruction. Abandoning all chance
of a safe return he executed 6 bold ground-level attacks to demolish the
enemy's vital radio station, installations, antiaircraft guns and crews
with bombs and machinegun fire, and to destroy 1 fighter plane in the air
and 3 on the water. Caught in his own bomb blast, Lt. Comdr. Van Voorhis
crashed into the lagoon off the beach, sacrificing himself in a single-handed
fight against almost insuperable odds, to make a distinctive contribution
to our continued offensive in driving the Japanese from the Solomons and,
by his superb daring, courage and resoluteness of purpose, enhanced the
finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life
for his country.
*VIALE, ROBERT M.
- Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company K, 148th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 5 February 1945.
- Entered service at: Ukiah, Calif.
- Birth: Bayside, Calif.
- G.O. No.: 92, 25 October 1945.
- Citation: He displayed conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. Forced by
the enemy's detonation of prepared demolitions to shift the course of his
advance through the city, he led the 1st platoon toward a small bridge,
where heavy fire from 3 enemy pillboxes halted the unit. With 2 men he
crossed the bridge behind screening grenade smoke to attack the pillboxes.
The first he knocked out himself while covered by his men's protecting
fire; the other 2 were silenced by 1 of his companions and a bazooka team
which he had called up. He suffered a painful wound in the right arm during
the action. After his entire platoon had joined him, he pushed ahead through
mortar fire and encircling flames. Blocked from the only escape route by
an enemy machinegun placed at a street corner, he entered a nearby building
with his men to explore possible means of reducing the emplacement. In
1 room he found civilians huddled together, in another, a small window
placed high in the wall and reached by a ladder. Because of the relative
positions of the window, ladder, and enemy emplacement, he decided that
he, being left-handed, could better hurl a grenade than 1 of his men who
had made an unsuccessful attempt. Grasping an armed grenade, he started
up the ladder. His wounded right arm weakened, and, as he tried to steady
himself, the grenade fell to the floor. In the 5 seconds before the grenade
would explode, he dropped down, recovered the grenade and looked for a
place to dispose of it safely. Finding no way to get rid of the grenade
without exposing his own men or the civilians to injury or death, he turned
to the wall, held it close to his body and bent over it as it exploded.
2d Lt. Viale died in a few minutes, but his heroic act saved the lives
*VILLEGAS, YSMAEL R.
- Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company F, 127th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Villa Verde Trail, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 20 March 1945.
- Entered service at: Casa Blanca, Calif.
- Birth: Casa Blanca, Calif.
- G.O. No.: 89, 19 October 1945.
- Citation: He was a squad
leader when his unit, in a forward position, clashed with an enemy strongly
entrenched in connected caves and foxholes on commanding ground. He moved
boldly from man to man, in the face of bursting grenades and demolition
charges, through heavy machinegun and rifle fire, to bolster the spirit
of his comrades. Inspired by his gallantry, his men pressed forward to
the crest of the hill. Numerous enemy riflemen, refusing to flee, continued
firing from their foxholes. S/Sgt. Villegas, with complete disregard for
his own safety and the bullets which kicked up the dirt at his feet, charged
an enemy position, and, firing at point-blank range killed the Japanese
in a foxhole. He rushed a second foxhole while bullets missed him by inches,
and killed 1 more of the enemy. In rapid succession he charged a third,
a fourth, a fifth foxhole, each time destroying the enemy within. The fire
against him increased in intensity, but he pressed onward to attack a sixth
position. As he neared his goal, he was hit and killed by enemy fire. Through
his heroism and indomitable fighting spirit, S/Sgt. Villegas, at the cost
of his life, inspired his men to a determined attack in which they swept
the enemy from the field.
VLUG, DIRK J.
- Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 126th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Near Limon, Leyte, Philippine Islands, 15 December 1944.
- Entered service at: Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Birth: Maple Lake, Minn.
- G.O. No.: 60, 26 June 1946.
- Citation: He displayed conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty when an American
roadblock on the Ormoc Road was attacked by a group of enemy tanks. He
left his covered position, and with a rocket launcher and 6 rounds of ammunition,
advanced alone under intense machinegun and 37-mm. fire. Loading single-handedly,
he destroyed the first tank, killing its occupants with a single round.
As the crew of the second tank started to dismount and attack him, he killed
1 of the foe with his pistol, forcing the survivors to return to their
vehicle, which he then destroyed with a second round. Three more hostile
tanks moved up the road, so he flanked the first and eliminated it, and
then, despite a hail of enemy fire, pressed forward again to destroy another.
With his last round of ammunition he struck the remaining vehicle, causing
it to crash down a steep embankment. Through his sustained heroism in the
face of superior forces, Pfc. Vlug alone destroyed 5 enemy tanks and greatly
facilitated successful accomplishment of his battalion's mission.
VOSLER, FORREST T. (Air Mission)
- Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Corps. 358th Bomber Squadron, 303d Bomber Group.
- Place and date: Over Bremen, Germany, 20 December 1943.
- Entered service at: Rochester, N.Y.
- Birth: 29 July 1923, Lyndonville, N.Y.
- G.O. No.: 73, 6 September 1944.
- Citation: For conspicuous
gallantry in action against the enemy above and beyond the call of duty
while serving as a radio operator-air gunner on a heavy bombardment aircraft
in a mission over Bremen, Germany, on 20 December 1943. After bombing the
target, the aircraft in which T/Sgt. Vosler was serving was severely damaged
by antiaircraft fire, forced out of formation, and immediately subjected
to repeated vicious attacks by enemy fighters. Early in the engagement
a 20-mm. cannon shell exploded in the radio compartment, painfully wounding
T/Sgt. Vosler in the legs and thighs. At about the same time a direct hit
on the tail of the ship seriously wounded the tail gunner and rendered
the tail guns inoperative. Realizing the great need for firepower in protecting
the vulnerable tail of the ship, T/Sgt. Vosler, with grim determination,
kept up a steady stream of deadly fire. Shortly thereafter another 20-mm.
enemy shell exploded, wounding T/Sgt. Vosler in the chest and about the
face. Pieces of metal lodged in both eyes, impairing his vision to such
an extent that he could only distinguish blurred shapes. Displaying remarkable
tenacity and courage, he kept firing his guns and declined to take first-aid
treatment. The radio equipment had been rendered inoperative during the
battle, and when the pilot announced that he would have to ditch, although
unable to see and working entirely by touch, T/Sgt. Vosler finally got
the set operating and sent out distress signals despite several lapses
into unconsciousness. When the ship ditched, T/Sgt. Vosler managed to get
out on the wing by himself and hold the wounded tail gunner from slipping
off until the other crewmembers could help them into the dinghy. T/Sgt.
Vosler's actions on this occasion were an inspiration to all serving with
him. The extraordinary courage, coolness, and skill he displayed in the
face of great odds, when handicapped by injuries that would have incapacitated
the average crewmember, were outstanding.
WAHLEN, GEORGE EDWARD
- Rank and organization: Pharmacist's Mate Second Class, U.S. Navy, serving with 2d Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division.
- Place and date: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands group, 3 March 1945.
- Entered service at: Utah.
- Birth: 8 August 1924, Ogden, Utah.
- Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity
at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving
with the 2d Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division, during action
against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima in the Volcano group on 3 March
1945. Painfully wounded in the bitter action on 26 February, Wahlen remained
on the battlefield, advancing well forward of the frontlines to aid a wounded
marine and carrying him back to safety despite a terrific concentration
of fire. Tireless in his ministrations, he consistently disregarded all
danger to attend his fighting comrades as they fell under the devastating
rain of shrapnel and bullets, and rendered prompt assistance to various
elements of his combat group as required. When an adjacent platoon suffered
heavy casualties, he defied the continuous pounding of heavy mortars and
deadly fire of enemy rifles to care for the wounded, working rapidly in
an area swept by constant fire and treating 14 casualties before returning
to his own platoon. Wounded again on 2 March, he gallantly refused evacuation,
moving out with his company the following day in a furious assault across
600 yards of open terrain and repeatedly rendering medical aid while exposed
to the blasting fury of powerful Japanese guns. Stouthearted and indomitable,
he persevered in his determined efforts as his unit waged fierce battle
and, unable to walk after sustaining a third agonizing wound, resolutely
crawled 50 yards to administer first aid to still another fallen fighter.
By his dauntless fortitude and valor, Wahlen served as a constant inspiration
and contributed vitally to the high morale of his company during critical
phases of this strategically important engagement. His heroic spirit of
self-sacrifice in the face of overwhelming enemy fire upheld the highest
traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
WAINWRIGHT, JONATHAN M.
- Rank and organization: General, Commanding U.S. Army Forces in the Philippines.
- Place and date: Philippine Islands, 12 March to 7 May 1942.
- Entered service at: Skaneateles, N.Y.
- Birth: Walla Walla, Wash.
- G.O. No.: 80, 19 September 1945.
- Citation: Distinguished himself by intrepid and determined leadership
against greatly superior enemy forces. At the repeated risk of life above
and beyond the call of duty in his position, he frequented the firing line
of his troops where his presence provided the example and incentive that
helped make the gallant efforts of these men possible. The final stand
on beleaguered Corregidor, for which he was in an important measure personally
responsible, commanded the admiration of the Nation's allies. It reflected
the high morale of American arms in the face of overwhelming odds. His
courage and resolution were a vitally needed inspiration to the then sorely
pressed freedom-loving peoples of the world.
*WALKER, KENNETH N. (Air Mission)
- Rank and organization: Brigadier General, U.S. Army Air Corps, Commander of V Bomber Command.
- Place and date: Rabaul, New Britain, 5 January 1943.
- Entered service at. Colorado.
- Birth: Cerrillos, N. Mex.
- G.O. No.: 13, 11 March 1943.
- Citation: For conspicuous leadership above and beyond the call
of duty involving personal valor and intrepidity at an extreme hazard to
life. As commander of the 5th Bomber Command during the period from 5 September
1942, to 5 January 1943, Brig. Gen. Walker repeatedly accompanied his units
on bombing missions deep into enemy-held territory. From the lessons personally
gained under combat conditions, he developed a highly efficient technique
for bombing when opposed by enemy fighter airplanes and by antiaircraft
fire. On 5 January 1943, in the face of extremely heavy antiaircraft fire
and determined opposition by enemy fighters, he led an effective daylight
bombing attack against shipping in the harbor at Rabaul, New Britain, which
resulted in direct hits on 9 enemy vessels. During this action his airplane
was disabled and forced down by the attack of an overwhelming number of
*WALLACE, HERMAN C.
- Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 301st Engineer Combat Battalion, 76th Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Near Prumzurley, Germany, 27 February 1945.
- Entered service at: Lubbock, Tex.
- Birth: Marlow, Okla.
- G.O. No.: 92, 25 October 1945.
- Citation: He displayed
conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity. While helping clear enemy mines
from a road, he stepped on a well-concealed S-type antipersonnel mine.
Hearing the characteristic noise indicating that the mine had been activated
and, if he stepped aside, would be thrown upward to explode above ground
and spray the area with fragments, surely killing 2 comrades directly behind
him and endangering other members of his squad, he deliberately placed
his other foot on the mine even though his best chance for survival was
to fall prone. Pvt. Wallace was killed when the charge detonated, but his
supreme heroism at the cost of his life confined the blast to the ground
and his own body and saved his fellow soldiers from death or injury.
WALSH, KENNETH AMBROSE
- Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, pilot in Marine Fighting Squadron 124, U.S. Marine Corps.
- Place and date: Solomon Islands area, 15 and 30 August 1943.
- Entered service at: New York.
- Birth: 24 November 1916, Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Other Navy awards: Distinguished Flying Cross with 5 Gold Stars.
- Citation: For extraordinary heroism and intrepidity above and beyond the call of
duty as a pilot in Marine Fighting Squadron 124 in aerial combat against
enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area. Determined to thwart
the enemy's attempt to bomb Allied ground forces and shipping at Vella
Lavella on 15 August 1943, 1st Lt. Walsh repeatedly dived his plane into
an enemy formation outnumbering his own division 6 to 1 and, although his
plane was hit numerous times, shot down 2 Japanese dive bombers and 1 fighter.
After developing engine trouble on 30 August during a vital escort mission,
1st Lt. Walsh landed his mechanically disabled plane at Munda, quickly
replaced it with another, and proceeded to rejoin his flight over Kahili.
Separated from his escort group when he encountered approximately 50 Japanese
Zeros, he unhesitatingly attacked, striking with relentless fury in his
lone battle against a powerful force. He destroyed 4 hostile fighters before
cannon shellfire forced him to make a dead-stick landing off Vella Lavella
where he was later picked up. His valiant leadership and his daring skill
as a flier served as a source of confidence and inspiration to his fellow
pilots and reflect the highest credit upon the U.S. Naval Service.
*WALSH, WILLIAM GARY
- Rank and organization: Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company G, 3d Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division.
- Place and date: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 27 February 1945.
- Birth: 7 April 1922, Roxbury, Mass.
- Accredited to: Massachusetts.
For extraordinary gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above
and beyond the call of duty as leader of an assault platoon, attached to
Company G, 3d Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in action against
enemy Japanese forces at Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands on 27 February 1945.
With the advance of his company toward Hill 362 disrupted by vicious machinegun
fire from a forward position which guarded the approaches to this key enemy
stronghold, G/Sgt. Walsh fearlessly charged at the head of his platoon
against the Japanese entrenched on the ridge above him, utterly oblivious
to the unrelenting fury of hostile automatic weapons fire and handgrenades
employed with fanatic desperation to smash his daring assault. Thrown back
by the enemy's savage resistance, he once again led his men in a seemingly
impossible attack up the steep, rocky slope, boldly defiant of the annihilating
streams of bullets which saturated the area. Despite his own casualty losses
and the overwhelming advantage held by the Japanese in superior numbers
and dominant position, he gained the ridge's top only to be subjected to
an intense barrage of handgrenades thrown by the remaining Japanese staging
a suicidal last stand on the reverse slope. When 1 of the grenades fell
in the midst of his surviving men, huddled together in a small trench,
G/Sgt. Walsh, in a final valiant act of complete self-sacrifice, instantly
threw himself upon the deadly bomb, absorbing with his own body the full
and terrific force of the explosion. Through his extraordinary initiative
and inspiring valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved his comrades
from injury and possible loss of life and enabled his company to seize
and hold this vital enemy position. He gallantly gave his life for his
*WARD, JAMES RICHARD
- Rank and organization: Seaman First Class, U.S. Navy, U.S.S. Oklahoma.
- Place and date: Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.
- Birth: 10 September 1921, Springfield, Ohio.
- Entered service at: Springfield, Ohio.
- Citation: For conspicuous devotion to duty,
extraordinary courage and complete disregard
of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, during the attack on the
Fleet in Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. When it was
seen that the U.S.S. Oklahoma was going to capsize and the order was given
to abandon ship, Ward remained in a turret holding a flashlight so the
remainder of the turret crew could see to escape, thereby sacrificing his
WARE, KEITH L.
- Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S . Army, 1st Battalion, 1 5th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Near Sigolsheim, France, 26 December 1944.
- Entered service at: Glendale, Calif.
- Birth: 23 November 1915, Denver, Colo.
- G.O. No.: 47, 18 June 1945.
- Citation: Commanding
the 1st Battalion attacking a strongly held enemy position on a hill near
Sigolsheim, France, on 26 December 1944, found that 1 of his assault companies
had been stopped and forced to dig in by a concentration of enemy artillery,
mortar, and machinegun fire. The company had suffered casualties in attempting
to take the hill. Realizing that his men must be inspired to new courage,
Lt. Col. Ware went forward 150 yards beyond the most forward elements of
his command, and for 2 hours reconnoitered the enemy positions, deliberately
drawing fire upon himself which caused the enemy to disclose his dispositions.
Returning to his company, he armed himself with an automatic rifle and
boldly advanced upon the enemy, followed by 2 officers, 9 enlisted men,
and a tank. Approaching an enemy machinegun, Lt. Col. Ware shot 2 German
riflemen and fired tracers into the emplacement, indicating its position
to his tank, which promptly knocked the gun out of action. Lt. Col. Ware
turned his attention to a second machinegun, killing 2 of its supporting
riflemen and forcing the others to surrender. The tank destroyed the gun.
Having expended the ammunition for the automatic rifle, Lt. Col. Ware took
up an Ml rifle, killed a German rifleman, and fired upon a third machinegun
50 yards away. His tank silenced the gun. Upon his approach to a fourth
machinegun, its supporting riflemen surrendered and his tank disposed of
the gun. During this action Lt. Col. Ware's small assault group was fully
engaged in attacking enemy positions that were not receiving his direct
and personal attention. Five of his party of 11 were casualties and Lt.
Col. Ware was wounded but refused medical attention until this important
hill position was cleared of the enemy and securely occupied by his command.
*WARNER, HENRY F.
- Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Antitank Company, 2d Battalion, 26th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Near Dom Butgenbach, Belgium, 20-21 December 1944.
- Entered service at: Troy, N.C.
- Birth: 23 August 1923, Troy, N.C.
- G.O. No.: 48, 23 June 1945.
- Citation: Serving as 57-mm.
antitank gunner with the 2d Battalion, he was a major factor in stopping
enemy tanks during heavy attacks against the battalion position near Dom
Butgenbach, Belgium, on 20-21 December 1944. In the first attack, launched
in the early morning of the 20th, enemy tanks succeeded in penetrating
parts of the line. Cpl. Warner, disregarding the concentrated cannon and
machinegun fire from 2 tanks bearing down on him, and ignoring the imminent
danger of being overrun by the infantry moving under tank cover, destroyed
the first tank and scored a direct and deadly hit upon the second. A third
tank approached to within 5 yards of his position while he was attempting
to clear a jammed breach lock. Jumping from his gun pit, he engaged in
a pistol duel with the tank commander standing in the turret, killing him
and forcing the tank to withdraw. Following a day and night during which
our forces were subjected to constant shelling, mortar barrages, and numerous
unsuccessful infantry attacks, the enemy struck in great force on the early
morning of the 21st. Seeing a Mark IV tank looming out of the mist and
heading toward his position, Cpl. Warner scored a direct hit. Disregarding
his injuries, he endeavored to finish the loading and again fire at the
tank whose motor was now aflame, when a second machinegun burst killed
him. Cpl. Warner's gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above
and beyond the call of duty contributed materially to the successful defense
against the enemy attacks.
WATSON, WILSON DOUGLAS
- Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division.
- Place and date: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 26 and 27 February 1945.
- Entered service at: Arkansas.
- Birth: 18 February 1921, Tuscumbia, Ala.
- Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity
at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as automatic
rifleman serving with the 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division,
during action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands,
26 and 27 February 1945. With his squad abruptly halted by intense fire
from enemy fortifications in the high rocky ridges and crags commanding
the line of advance, Pvt. Watson boldly rushed 1 pillbox and fired into
the embrasure with his weapon, keeping the enemy pinned down single-handedly
until he was in a position to hurl in a grenade, and then running to the
rear of the emplacement to destroy the retreating Japanese and enable his
platoon to take its objective. Again pinned down at the foot of a small
hill, he dauntlessly scaled the jagged incline under fierce mortar and
machinegun barrages and, with his assistant BAR man, charged the crest
of the hill, firing from his hip. Fighting furiously against Japanese troops
attacking with grenades and knee mortars from the reverse slope, he stood
fearlessly erect in his exposed position to cover the hostile entrenchments
and held the hill under savage fire for 15 minutes, killing 60 Japanese
before his ammunition was exhausted and his platoon was able to join him.
His courageous initiative and valiant fighting spirit against devastating
odds were directly responsible for the continued advance of his platoon,
and his inspiring leadership throughout this bitterly fought action reflects
the highest credit upon Pvt. Watson and the U.S. Naval Service.
*WAUGH, ROBERT T.
- Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 339th Infantry, 85th Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Near Tremensucli, Italy, 11-14 May 1944.
- Entered service at: Augusta, Maine.
- Birth: Ashton, R.I.
- G.O. No.: 79, 4 October 1944.
- Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity
at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy.
In the course of an attack upon an enemy-held hill on 11 May, 1st Lt. Waugh
personally reconnoitered a heavily mined area before entering it with his
platoon. Directing his men to deliver fire on 6 bunkers guarding this hill,
1st Lt. Waugh advanced alone against them, reached the first bunker, threw
phosphorus grenades into it and as the defenders emerged, killed them with
a burst from his tommygun. He repeated this process on the 5 remaining
bunkers, killing or capturing the occupants. On the morning of 14 May,
1st Lt. Waugh ordered his platoon to lay a base of fire on 2 enemy pillboxes
located on a knoll which commanded the only trail up the hill. He then
ran to the first pillbox, threw several grenades into it, drove the defenders
into the open, and killed them. The second pillbox was next taken by this
intrepid officer by similar methods. The fearless actions of 1st Lt. Waugh
broke the Gustav Line at that point, neutralizing 6 bunkers and 2 pillboxes
and he was personally responsible for the death of 30 of the enemy and
the capture of 25 others. He was later killed in action in Itri, Italy,
while leading his platoon in an attack.
WAYBUR, DAVID C.
- Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 3d Reconnaissance Troop, 3d Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Near Agrigento, Sicily, 17 July 1943.
- Entered service at: Piedmont, Calif.
- Birth: Oakland, Calif.
- G.O. No.: 69, 21 October 1943.
- Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action
involving actual conflict with the enemy. Commander of a reconnaissance
platoon, 1st Lt. Waybur volunteered to lead a 3-vehicle patrol into enemy-held
territory to locate an isolated Ranger unit. Proceeding under cover of
darkness, over roads known to be heavily mined, and strongly defended by
road blocks and machinegun positions, the patrol's progress was halted
at a bridge which had been destroyed by enemy troops and was suddenly cut
off from its supporting vehicles by 4 enemy tanks. Although hopelessly
outnumbered and out-gunned, and himself and his men completely exposed,
he quickly dispersed his vehicles and ordered his gunners to open fire
with their .30 and .50 caliber machineguns. Then, with ammunition exhausted,
3 of his men hit and himself seriously wounded, he seized his .45 caliber
Thompson submachinegun and standing in the bright moonlight directly in
the line of fire, alone engaged the leading tank at 30 yards and succeeded
in killing the crewmembers, causing the tank to run onto the bridge and
crash into the stream bed. After dispatching 1 of the men for aid he rallied
the rest to cover and withstood the continued fire of the tanks till the
arrival of aid the following morning.
*WEICHT, ELLIS R.
- Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company F, 142d Infantry, 36th Infantry Division.
- Place and date: St. Hippolyte, France, 3 December 1944.
- Entered service at: Bedford, Pa.
- Birth: Clearville, Pa.
- G.O. No.: 58, 19 July 1945.
- Citation: For commanding an assault squad in Company
F's attack against the strategically important Alsatian town of St. Hippolyte
on 3 December 1944. He aggressively led his men down a winding street,
clearing the houses of opposition as he advanced. Upon rounding a bend,
the group was suddenly brought under the fire of 2 machineguns emplaced
in the door and window of a house 100 yards distant. While his squad members
took cover, Sgt. Weicht moved rapidly forward to a high rock wall and,
fearlessly exposing himself to the enemy action, fired 2 clips of ammunition
from his rifle. His fire proving ineffective, he entered a house opposite
the enemy gun position, and, firing from a window, killed the 2 hostile
gunners. Continuing the attack, the advance was again halted when two 20-mm.
guns opened fire on the company. An artillery observer ordered friendly
troops to evacuate the area and then directed artillery fire upon the gun
positions. Sgt. Weicht remained in the shelled area and continued to fire
on the hostile weapons. When the barrage lifted and the enemy soldiers
attempted to remove their gun, he killed 2 crewmembers and forced the others
to flee. Sgt. Weicht continued to lead his squad forward until he spotted
a road block approximate 125 yards away. Moving to the second floor of
a nearby house and firing from a window, he killed 3 and wounded several
of the enemy. Instantly becoming a target for heavy and direct fire, he
disregarded personal safety to continue his fire, with unusual effectiveness,
until he was killed by a direct hit from an antitank gun.
*WETZEL, WALTER C.
- Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 13th Infantry, 8th Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Birken, Germany, 3 April 1945.
- Entered service at: Roseville, Mich.
- Birth: Huntington, W. Va.
- G.O. No.: 21, 26 February 1946.
- Citation: Pfc. Wetzel, an acting squad leader with the Antitank
Company of the 13th Infantry, was guarding his platoon's command post in
a house at Birken, Germany, during the early morning hours of 3 April 1945,
when he detected strong enemy forces moving in to attack. He ran into the
house, alerted the occupants and immediately began defending the post against
heavy automatic weapons fire coming from the hostile troops. Under cover
of darkness the Germans forced their way close to the building where they
hurled grenades, 2 of which landed in the room where Pfc. Wetzel and the
others had taken up firing positions. Shouting a warning to his fellow
soldiers, Pfc. Wetzel threw himself on the grenades and, as they exploded,
absorbed their entire blast, suffering wounds from which he died. The supreme
gallantry of Pfc. Wetzel saved his comrades from death or serious injury
and made it possible for them to continue the defense of the command post
and break the power of a dangerous local counterthrust by the enemy. His
unhesitating sacrifice of his life was in keeping with the U.S. Army's
highest traditions of bravery and heroism.
- Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company L, 15th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Sigolsheim, France, 27 December 1944.
- Entered service at: Georgetown, Tex.
- Birth: Florence, Tex.
- G.O. No.: 79, 14 September 1945.
- Citation: While leading his platoon on
27 December 1944, in savage house-to-house fighting through the fortress
town of Sigolsheim, France, he attacked a building through a street swept
by withering mortar and automatic weapons fire. He was hit and severely
wounded in the arm and shoulder; but he charged into the house alone and
killed its 2 defenders. Hurling smoke and fragmentation grenades before
him, he reached the next house and stormed inside, killing 2 and capturing
11 of the enemy. He continued leading his platoon in the extremely dangerous
task of clearing hostile troops from strong points along the street until
he reached a building held by fanatical Nazi troops. Although suffering
from wounds which had rendered his left arm useless, he advanced on this
strongly defended house, and after blasting out a wall with bazooka fire,
charged through a hail of bullets. Wedging his submachinegun under his
uninjured arm, he rushed into the house through the hole torn by his rockets,
killed 5 of the enemy and forced the remaining 12 to surrender. As he emerged
to continue his fearless attack, he was again hit and critically wounded.
In agony and with 1 eye pierced by a shell fragment, he shouted for his
men to follow him to the next house. He was determined to stay in the fighting,
and remained at the head of his platoon until forcibly evacuated. By his
disregard for personal safety, his aggressiveness while suffering from
severe wounds, his determined leadership and superb courage, 1st Lt. Whiteley
killed 9 Germans, captured 23 more and spearheaded an attack which cracked
the core of enemy resistance in a vital area.
WHITTINGTON, HULON B.
- Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 41st Armored Infantry 2d Armored Division.
- Place and date: Near Grimesnil, France, 29 July 1944.
- Entered service at: Bastrop, La.
- Birth: 9 July 1921, Bogalusa, La.
- G.O. No.: 32, 23 April 1945.
- Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity
at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On the night of
29 July 1944, near Grimesnil, France, during an enemy armored attack, Sgt.
Whittington, a squad leader, assumed command of his platoon when the platoon
leader and platoon sergeant became missing in action. He reorganized the
defense and, under fire, courageously crawled between gun positions to
check the actions of his men. When the advancing enemy attempted to penetrate
a roadblock, Sgt. Whittington, completely disregarding intense enemy action,
mounted a tank and by shouting through the turret, directed it into position
to fire pointblank at the leading Mark V German tank. The destruction of
this vehicle blocked all movement of the remaining enemy column consisting
of over 100 vehicles of a Panzer unit. The blocked vehicles were then destroyed
by handgrenades, bazooka, tank, and artillery fire and large numbers of
enemy personnel were wiped out by a bold and resolute bayonet charge inspired
by Sgt. Whittington. When the medical aid man had become a casualty, Sgt.
Whittington personally administered first aid to his wounded men. The dynamic
leadership, the inspiring example, and the dauntless courage of Sgt. Whittington,
above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions
of the military service.
WIEDORFER, PAUL J.
- Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant (then Private), U.S. Army, Company G, 318th Infantry, 80th Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Near, Chaumont, Belgium, 25 December 1944.
- Entered service at: Baltimore, Md.
- Birth: Baltimore, Md.
- G.O. No.: 45, 12 June 1945.
- Citation: He alone made it possible for
his company to advance until its objective was seized. Company G had cleared
a wooded area of snipers, and 1 platoon was advancing across an open clearing
toward another wood when it was met by heavy machinegun fire from 2 German
positions dug in at the edge of the second wood. These positions were flanked
by enemy riflemen. The platoon took cover behind a small ridge approximately
40 yards from the enemy position. There was no other available protection
and the entire platoon was pinned down by the German fire. It was about
noon and the day was clear, but the terrain extremely difficult due to
a 3-inch snowfall the night before over ice-covered ground. Pvt. Wiedorfer,
realizing that the platoon advance could not continue until the 2 enemy
machinegun nests were destroyed, voluntarily charged alone across the slippery
open ground with no protecting cover of any kind. Running in a crouched
position, under a hail of enemy fire, he slipped and fell in the snow,
but quickly rose and continued forward with the enemy concentrating automatic
and small-arms fire on him as he advanced. Miraculously escaping injury,
Pvt. Wiedorfer reached a point some 10 yards from the first machinegun
emplacement and hurled a handgrenade into it. With his rifle he killed
the remaining Germans, and, without hesitation, wheeled to the right and
attacked the second emplacement. One of the enemy was wounded by his fire
and the other 6 immediately surrendered. This heroic action by 1 man enabled
the platoon to advance from behind its protecting ridge and continue successfully
to reach its objective. A few minutes later, when both the platoon leader
and the platoon sergeant were wounded, Pvt. Wiedorfer assumed command of
the platoon, leading it forward with inspired energy until the mission
*WIGLE, THOMAS W.
- Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company K, 135th Infantry, 34th Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Monte Frassino, Italy, 14 September 1944.
- Entered service at: Detroit, Mich.
- Birth: Indianapolis, Ind.
- G.O. No.: 8, 7 February 1945.
- Citation: For conspicuous gallantry
and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in
the vicinity of Monte Frassino, Italy. The 3d Platoon, in attempting to
seize a strongly fortified hill position protected by 3 parallel high terraced
stone walls, was twice thrown back by the withering crossfire. 2d Lt. Wigle,
acting company executive, observing that the platoon was without an officer,
volunteered to command it on the next attack. Leading his men up the bare,
rocky slopes through intense and concentrated fire, he succeeded in reaching
the first of the stone walls. Having himself boosted to the top and perching
there in full view of the enemy, he drew and returned their fire while
his men helped each other up and over. Following the same method, he successfully
negotiated the second. Upon reaching the top of the third wall, he faced
3 houses which were the key point of the enemy defense. Ordering his men
to cover him, he made a dash through a hail of machine-pistol fire to reach
the nearest house. Firing his carbine as he entered, he drove the enemy
before him out of the back door and into the second house. Following closely
on the heels of the foe, he drove them from this house into the third where
they took refuge in the cellar. When his men rejoined him, they found him
mortally wounded on the cellar stairs which he had started to descend to
force the surrender of the enemy. His heroic action resulted in the capture
of 36 German soldiers and the seizure of the strongpoint.
WILBUR, WILLIAM H.
- Rank and organization: Colonel, U.S. Army, Western Task Force, North Africa.
- Place and date: Fedala, North Africa, 8 November 1942.
- Entered service at: Palmer, Mass.
- Birth: Palmer, Mass.
- G.O. No.: 2, 13 January 1943.
- Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above
and beyond the call of duty. Col. Wilbur prepared the plan for making contact
with French commanders in Casablanca and obtaining an armistice to prevent
unnecessary bloodshed. On 8 November 1942, he landed at Fedala with the
leading assault waves where opposition had developed into a firm and continuous
defensive line across his route of advance. Commandeering a vehicle, he
was driven toward the hostile defenses under incessant fire, finally locating
a French officer who accorded him passage through the forward positions.
He then proceeded in total darkness through 16 miles of enemy-occupied
country intermittently subjected to heavy bursts of fire, and accomplished
his mission by delivering his letters to appropriate French officials in
Casablanca. Returning toward his command, Col. Wilbur detected a hostile
battery firing effectively on our troops. He took charge of a platoon of
American tanks and personally led them in an attack and capture of the
battery. From the moment of landing until the cessation of hostile resistance,
Col. Wilbur's conduct was voluntary and exemplary in its coolness and daring.
*WILKIN, EDWARD G.
- Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company C, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Siegfried Line in Germany, 18 March 1945.
- Entered service at: Longmeadow, Mass.
- Birth: Burlington, Vt.
- G.O. No.: 119, 17 December 1945.
- Citation: He spearheaded his unit's assault
of the Siegfried Line in Germany. Heavy fire from enemy riflemen and camouflaged
pillboxes had pinned down his comrades when he moved forward on his own
initiative to reconnoiter a route of advance. He cleared the way into an
area studded with pillboxes, where he repeatedly stood up and walked into
vicious enemy fire, storming 1 fortification after another with automatic
rifle fire and grenades, killing enemy troops, taking prisoners as the
enemy defense became confused, and encouraging his comrades by his heroic
example. When halted by heavy barbed wire entanglements, he secured bangalore
torpedoes and blasted a path toward still more pillboxes, all the time
braving bursting grenades and mortar shells and direct rifle and automatic-weapons
fire. He engaged in fierce fire fights, standing in the open while his
adversaries fought from the protection of concrete emplacements, and on
1 occasion pursued enemy soldiers across an open field and through interlocking
trenches, disregarding the crossfire from 2 pillboxes until he had penetrated
the formidable line 200 yards in advance of any American element. That
night, although terribly fatigued, he refused to rest and insisted on distributing
rations and supplies to his comrades. Hearing that a nearby company was
suffering heavy casualties, he secured permission to guide litter bearers
and assist them in evacuating the wounded. All that night he remained in
the battle area on his mercy missions, and for the following 2 days he
continued to remove casualties, venturing into enemy-held territory, scorning
cover and braving devastating mortar and artillery bombardments. In 3 days
he neutralized and captured 6 pillboxes single-handedly, killed at least
9 Germans, wounded 13, took 13 prisoners, aided in the capture of 14 others,
and saved many American lives by his fearless performance as a litter bearer.
Through his superb fighting skill, dauntless courage, and gallant, inspiring
actions, Cpl. Wilkin contributed in large measure to his company's success
in cracking the Siegfried Line. One month later he was killed in action
while fighting deep in Germany.
*WILKINS, RAYMOND H. (Air Mission)
- Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army Air Corps.
- Place and date: Near Rabaul, New Britain, 2 November 1943.
- Entered service at: Portsmouth, Va.
- Birth: 28 September 1917, Portsmouth, Va.
- G.O. No.: 23, 24 March 1944.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of
duty in action with the enemy near Rabaul, New Britain, on 2 November 1943.
Leading his squadron in an attack on shipping in Simpson Harbor, during
which intense antiaircraft fire was expected, Maj. Wilkins briefed his
squadron so that his airplane would be in the position of greatest risk.
His squadron was the last of 3 in the group to enter the target area. Smoke
from bombs dropped by preceding aircraft necessitated a last-second revision
of tactics on his part, which still enabled his squadron to strike vital
shipping targets, but forced it to approach through concentrated fire,
and increased the danger of Maj. Wilkins' left flank position. His airplane
was hit almost immediately, the right wing damaged, and control rendered
extremely difficult. Although he could have withdrawn, he held fast and
led his squadron into the attack. He strafed a group of small harbor vessels,
and then, at low level, attacked an enemy destroyer. His 1,000 pound bomb
struck squarely amidships, causing the vessel to explode. Although antiaircraft
fire from this vessel had seriously damaged his left vertical stabilizer,
he refused to deviate from the course. From below-masthead height he attacked
a transport of some 9,000 tons, scoring a hit which engulfed the ship in
flames. Bombs expended, he began to withdraw his squadron. A heavy cruiser
barred the path. Unhesitatingly, to neutralize the cruiser s guns and attract
its fire, he went in for a strafing run. His damaged stabilizer was completely
shot off. To avoid swerving into his wing planes he had to turn so as to
expose the belly and full wing surfaces of his plane to the enemy fire;
it caught and crumpled his left wing. Now past control, the bomber crashed
into the sea. In the fierce engagement Maj. Wilkins destroyed 2 enemy vessels,
and his heroic self-sacrifice made possible the safe withdrawal of the
remaining planes of his squadron.
*WILL, WALTER J.
- Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company K 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Near Eisern, Germany, 30 March 1945.
- Entered service at: West Winfield, N.Y.
- Birth: Pittsburgh, Pa.
- G.O. No.: 88, 17 October 1945.
- Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry during
an attack on powerful enemy positions. He courageously exposed himself
to withering hostile fire to rescue 2 wounded men and then, although painfully
wounded himself, made a third trip to carry another soldier to safety from
an open area. Ignoring the profuse bleeding of his wound, he gallantly
led men of his platoon forward until they were pinned down by murderous
flanking fire from 2 enemy machineguns. He fearlessly crawled alone to
within 30 feet of the first enemy position, killed the crew of 4 and silenced
the gun with accurate grenade fire. He continued to crawl through intense
enemy fire to within 20 feet of the second position where he leaped to
his feet, made a lone, ferocious charge and captured the gun and its 9-man
crew. Observing another platoon pinned down by 2 more German machineguns,
he led a squad on a flanking approach and, rising to his knees in the face
of direct fire, coolly and deliberately lobbed 3 grenades at the Germans,
silencing 1 gun and killing its crew. With tenacious aggressiveness, he
ran toward the other gun and knocked it out with grenade fire. He then
returned to his platoon and led it in a fierce, inspired charge, forcing
the enemy to fall back in confusion. 1st Lt. Will was mortally wounded
in this last action, but his heroic leadership, indomitable courage, and
unflinching devotion to duty live on as a perpetual inspiration to all
those who witnessed his deeds.
WILLIAMS, HERSHEL WOODROW
- Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division.
- Place and date: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 23 February 1945.
- Entered service at: West Virginia.
- Birth: 2 October 1923, Quiet Dell, W. Va.
- Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk
of his life above and beyond the call of duty as demolition sergeant serving
with the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese
forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 23 February 1945. Quick to volunteer
his services when our tanks were maneuvering vainly to open a lane for
the infantry through the network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried
mines, and black volcanic sands, Cpl. Williams daringly went forward alone
to attempt the reduction of devastating machinegun fire from the unyielding
positions. Covered only by 4 riflemen, he fought desperately for 4 hours
under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own
lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flamethrowers,
struggling back, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe
out 1 position after another. On 1 occasion, he daringly mounted a pillbox
to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing
the occupants and silencing the gun; on another he grimly charged enemy
riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with
a burst of flame from his weapon. His unyielding determination and extraordinary
heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance were directly instrumental
in neutralizing one of the most fanatically defended Japanese strong points
encountered by his regiment and aided vitally in enabling his company to
reach its objective. Cpl. Williams' aggressive fighting spirit and valiant
devotion to duty throughout this fiercely contested action sustain and
enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
- Rank and organization: Pharmacist's Mate Third Class, U.S. Naval Reserve, 3d Battalion 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division.
- Place and date: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 3 March 1945.
- Birth: 18 October 1924, Harrison, Ark.
- Accredited to: Arkansas.
- Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above
and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3d Battalion 28th Marines,
5th Marine Division, during the occupation of Iwo Jima Volcano Islands,
3 March 1945. Gallantly going forward on the frontlines under intense enemy
small-arms fire to assist a marine wounded in a fierce grenade battle,
Williams dragged the man to a shallow depression and was kneeling, using
his own body as a screen from the sustained fire as he administered first
aid, when struck in the abdomen and groin 3 times by hostile rifle fire.
Momentarily stunned, he quickly recovered and completed his ministration
before applying battle dressings to his own multiple wounds. Unmindful
of his own urgent need for medical attention, he remained in the perilous
fire-swept area to care for another marine casualty. Heroically completing
his task despite pain and profuse bleeding, he then endeavored to make
his way to the rear in search of adequate aid for himself when struck down
by a Japanese sniper bullet which caused his collapse. Succumbing later
as a result of his self-sacrificing service to others, Williams, by his
courageous determination, unwavering fortitude and valiant performance
of duty, served as an inspiring example of heroism, in keeping with the
highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life
for his country.
*WILLIS, JOHN HARLAN
- Rank and organization: Pharmacist's Mate First Class, U.S. Navy, 3d Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division.
- Place and date: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 28 February 1945.
- Born: 10 June 1921, Columbia, Tenn.
- Accredited to: Tennessee.
- Citation: For conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty as Platoon Corpsman serving with the 3d Battalion, 27th Marines,
5th Marine Division, during operations against enemy Japanese forces on
Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 28 February 1945. Constantly imperiled by artillery
and mortar fire from strong and mutually supporting pillboxes and caves
studding Hill 362 in the enemy's cross-island defenses, Willis resolutely
administered first aid to the many marines wounded during the furious close-in
fighting until he himself was struck by shrapnel and was ordered back to
the battle-aid station. Without waiting for official medical release, he
quickly returned to his company and, during a savage hand-to-hand enemy
counterattack, daringly advanced to the extreme frontlines under mortar
and sniper fire to aid a marine Iying wounded in a shellhole. Completely
unmindful of his own danger as the Japanese intensified their attack, Willis
calmly continued to administer blood plasma to his patient, promptly returning
the first hostile grenade which landed in the shell-hole while he was working
and hurling back 7 more in quick succession before the ninth 1 exploded
in his hand and instantly killed him. By his great personal valor in saving
others at the sacrifice of his own life, he inspired his companions, although
terrifically outnumbered, to launch a fiercely determined attack and repulse
the enemy force. His exceptional fortitude and courage in the performance
of duty reflect the highest credit upon Willis and the U.S. Naval Service.
He gallantly gave his life for his country.
*WILSON, ALFRED L.
- Rank and organization: Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 328th Infantry, 26th Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Near Bezange la Petite, France, 8 November 1944.
- Entered service at: Fairchance, Pa.
- Birth: Fairchance, Pa.
- G.O. No.: 47, 18 June 1945.
- Citation: He volunteered to
assist as an aid man a company other than his own, which was suffering
casualties from constant artillery fire. He administered to the wounded
and returned to his own company when a shellburst injured a number of its
men. While treating his comrades he was seriously wounded, but refused
to be evacuated by litter bearers sent to relieve him. In spite of great
pain and loss of blood, he continued to administer first aid until he was
too weak to stand. Crawling from 1 patient to another, he continued his
work until excessive loss of blood prevented him from moving. He then verbally
directed unskilled enlisted men in continuing the first aid for the wounded.
Still refusing assistance himself, he remained to instruct others in dressing
the wounds of his comrades until he was unable to speak above a whisper
and finally lapsed into unconsciousness. The effects of his injury later
caused his death. By steadfastly remaining at the scene without regard
for his own safety, Cpl. Wilson through distinguished devotion to duty
and personal sacrifice helped to save the lives of at least 10 wounded
WILSON, LOUIS HUGH, JR.
- Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, Commanding Rifle Company, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division.
- Place and date: Fonte Hill, Guam, 25-26 July 1944.
- Entered service at: Mississippi.
- Birth: 11 February 1920, Brandon, Miss.
- Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and
intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as
commanding officer of a rifle company attached to the 2d Battalion, 9th
Marines, 3d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces at
Fonte Hill, Guam, 25-26 July 1944. Ordered to take that portion of the
hill within his zone of action, Capt. Wilson initiated his attack in mid-afternoon,
pushed up the rugged, open terrain against terrific machinegun and rifle
fire for 300 yards and successfully captured the objective. Promptly assuming
command of other disorganized units and motorized equipment in addition
to his own company and 1 reinforcing platoon, he organized his night defenses
in the face of continuous hostile fire and, although wounded 3 times during
this 5-hour period, completed his disposition of men and guns before retiring
to the company command post for medical attention. Shortly thereafter,
when the enemy launched the first of a series of savage counterattacks
lasting all night, he voluntarily rejoined his besieged units and repeatedly
exposed himself to the merciless hail of shrapnel and bullets, dashing
50 yards into the open on 1 occasion to rescue a wounded marine Iying helpless
beyond the frontlines. Fighting fiercely in hand-to-hand encounters, he
led his men in furiously waged battle for approximately 10 hours, tenaciously
holding his line and repelling the fanatically renewed counterthrusts until
he succeeded in crushing the last efforts of the hard-pressed Japanese
early the following morning. Then organizing a 17-man patrol, he immediately
advanced upon a strategic slope essential to the security of his position
and, boldly defying intense mortar, machinegun, and rifle fire which struck
down 13 of his men, drove relentlessly forward with the remnants of his
patrol to seize the vital ground. By his indomitable leadership, daring
combat tactics, and valor in the face of overwhelming odds, Capt. Wilson
succeeded in capturing and holding the strategic high ground in his regimental
sector, thereby contributing essentially to the success of his regimental
mission and to the annihilation of 350 Japanese troops. His inspiring conduct
throughout the critical periods of this decisive action sustains and enhances
the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
*WILSON, ROBERT LEE
- Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, 2d Battalion, 6th Marines, 2d Marine Division.
- Place and date: Tinian Island, Marianas Group, 4 August 1944.
- Born: 24 May 1921, Centralia, Ill.
- Accredited to: Illinois. Citation For conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty while serving with the 2d Battalion, 6th Marines, 2d Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces at Tinian Island,
Marianas Group, on 4 August 1944. As 1 of a group of marines advancing
through heavy underbrush to neutralize isolated points of resistance, Pfc.
Wilson daringly preceded his companions toward a pile of rocks where Japanese
troops were supposed to be hiding. Fully aware of the danger involved,
he was moving forward while the remainder of the squad, armed with automatic
rifles, closed together in the rear when an enemy grenade landed in the
midst of the group. Quick to act, Pfc. Wilson cried a warning to the men
and unhesitatingly threw himself on the grenade, heroically sacrificing
his own life that the others might live and fulfill their mission. His
exceptional valor, his courageous loyalty and unwavering devotion to duty
in the face of grave peril reflect the highest credit upon Pfc. Wilson
and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
WISE, HOMER L.
- Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant. U.S. Army, Company L, 142d Infantry, 36th Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Magliano, Italy, 14 June 1944.
- Entered service at: Baton Rouge, La.
- Birth: Baton Rouge La.
- G.O. No.: 90, 8 December 1944.
- Citation: While his platoon was pinned down by enemy small-arms
fire from both flanks, he left his position of comparative safety and assisted
in carrying 1 of his men, who had been seriously wounded and who lay in
an exposed position, to a point where he could receive medical attention.
The advance of the platoon was resumed but was again stopped by enemy frontal
fire. A German officer and 2 enlisted men, armed with automatic weapons,
threatened the right flank. Fearlessly exposing himself, he moved to a
position from which he killed all 3 with his submachinegun. Returning to
his squad, he obtained an Ml rifle and several antitank grenades, then
took up a position from which he delivered accurate fire on the enemy holding
up the advance. As the battalion moved forward it was again stopped by
enemy frontal and flanking fire. He procured an automatic rifle and, advancing
ahead of his men, neutralized an enemy machinegun with his fire. When the
flanking fire became more intense he ran to a nearby tank and exposing
himself on the turret, restored a jammed machinegun to operating efficiency
and used it so effectively that the enemy fire from an adjacent ridge was
materially reduced thus permitting the battalion to occupy its objective.
*WITEK, FRANK PETER
- Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division.
- Place and date: Battle of Finegayen at Guam, Marianas, 3 August 1944.
- Birth: December 1921, Derby, Conn.
- Accredited to: Illinois.
- Citation: For
conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and
beyond the call of duty while serving with the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines,
3d Marine Division, during the Battle of Finegayen at Guam, Marianas, on
3 August 1944. When his rifle platoon was halted by heavy surprise fire
from well-camouflaged enemy positions, Pfc. Witek daringly remained standing
to fire a full magazine from his automatic at point-blank range into a
depression housing Japanese troops, killing 8 of the enemy and enabling
the greater part of his platoon to take cover. During his platoon's withdrawal
for consolidation of lines, he remained to safeguard a severely wounded
comrade, courageously returning the enemy's fire until the arrival of stretcher
bearers, and then covering the evacuation by sustained fire as he moved
backward toward his own lines. With his platoon again pinned down by a
hostile machinegun, Pfc. Witek, on his own initiative, moved forward boldly
to the reinforcing tanks and infantry, alternately throwing handgrenades
and firing as he advanced to within 5 to 10 yards of the enemy position,
and destroying the hostile machinegun emplacement and an additional 8 Japanese
before he himself was struck down by an enemy rifleman. His valiant and
inspiring action effectively reduced the enemy's firepower, thereby enabling
his platoon to attain its objective, and reflects the highest credit upon
Pfc. Witek and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his
*WOODFORD, HOWARD E.
- Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 130th Infantry, 33d Infantry Division.
- Place and date: Near Tabio, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 6 June 1945.
- Entered service at: Barberton, Ohio.
- Birth: Barberton, Ohio.
- G.O. No.: 14, 4 February 1946.
- Citation: He volunteered to investigate
the delay in a scheduled attack by an attached guerrilla battalion. Reaching
the line of departure, he found that the lead company, in combat for the
first time, was immobilized by intense enemy mortar, machinegun, and rifle
fire which had caused casualties to key personnel. Knowing that further
failure to advance would endanger the flanks of adjacent units, as well
as delay capture of the objective, he immediately took command of the company,
evacuated the wounded, reorganized the unit under fire, and prepared to
attack. He repeatedly exposed himself to draw revealing fire from the Japanese
strongpoints, and then moved forward with a 5-man covering force to determine
exact enemy positions. Although intense enemy machinegun fire killed 2
and wounded his other 3 men, S/Sgt. Woodford resolutely continued his patrol
before returning to the company. Then, against bitter resistance, he guided
the guerrillas up a barren hill and captured the objective, personally
accounting for 2 hostile machinegunners and courageously reconnoitering
strong defensive positions before directing neutralizing fire. After organizing
a perimeter defense for the night, he was given permission by radio to
return to his battalion, but, feeling that he was needed to maintain proper
control, he chose to remain with the guerrillas. Before dawn the next morning
the enemy launched a fierce suicide attack with mortars, grenades, and
small-arms fire, and infiltrated through the perimeter. Though wounded
by a grenade, S/Sgt. Woodford remained at his post calling for mortar support
until bullets knocked out his radio. Then, seizing a rifle he began working
his way around the perimeter, encouraging the men until he reached a weak
spot where 2 guerrillas had been killed. Filling this gap himself, he fought
off the enemy. At daybreak he was found dead in his foxhole, but 37 enemy
dead were lying in and around his position. By his daring, skillful, and
inspiring leadership, as well as by his gallant determination to search
out and kill the enemy, S/Sgt. Woodford led an inexperienced unit in capturing
and securing a vital objective, and was responsible for the successful
continuance of a vitally important general advance.
- Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy, U.S.S. Vestal.
- Place and date: Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.
- Birth: 6 March 1894, Washington, D.C.
- Appointed from: Wisconsin.
- Other Navy award: Navy Cross.
- Citation: For distinguished conduct in action,
outstanding heroism and utter disregard
of his own safety, above and beyond the call of duty, as commanding officer
of the U.S.S. Vestal, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory
of Hawaii, by enemy Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. Comdr. Young proceeded
to the bridge and later took personal command of the 3-inch antiaircraft
gun. When blown overboard by the blast of the forward magazine explosion
of the U.S.S. Arizona, to which the U.S.S. Vestal was moored, he swam back
to his ship. The entire forward part of the U.S.S. Arizona was a blazing
inferno with oil afire on the water between the 2 ships; as a result of
several bomb hits, the U.S.S. Vestal was afire in several places, was settling
and taking on a list. Despite severe enemy bombing and strafing at the
time, and his shocking experience of having been blown overboard, Comdr.
Young, with extreme coolness and calmness, moved his ship to an anchorage
distant from the U.S.S. Arizona, and subsequently beached the U.S.S. Vestal
upon determining that such action was required to save his ship.
*YOUNG, RODGER W.
- Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, 148th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division.
- Place and date: On New Georgia, Solomon Islands, 31 July 1943.
- Entered service at: Clyde, Ohio.
- Birth: Tiffin, Ohio.
- G.O. No.: 3, 6 January 1944.
- Citation: On 31 July 1943, the infantry company of which Pvt. Young
was a member, was ordered to make a limited withdrawal from the battle
line in order to adjust the battalion's position for the night. At this
time, Pvt. Young's platoon was engaged with the enemy in a dense jungle
where observation was very limited. The platoon suddenly was pinned down
by intense fire from a Japanese machinegun concealed on higher ground only
75 yards away. The initial burst wounded Pvt. Young. As the platoon started
to obey the order to withdraw, Pvt. Young called out that he could see
the enemy emplacement, whereupon he started creeping toward it. Another
burst from the machinegun wounded him the second time. Despite the wounds,
he continued his heroic advance, attracting enemy fire and answering with
rifle fire. When he was close enough to his objective, he began throwing
hand grenades, and while doing so was hit again and killed. Pvt. Young's
bold action in closing with this Japanese pillbox and thus diverting its
fire, permitted his platoon to disengage itself, without loss, and was
responsible for several enemy casualties.
[Rodger Young's memory lives on thru the Ballad of Rodger Young and thru Robert Heinlein's novel Starship Troopers -- ed.]
ZEAMER, JAY JR. (Air Mission)
- Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army Air Corps.
- Place and date: Over Buka area, Solomon Islands, 16 June 1943.
- Entered service at: Machias, Maine.
- Birth: Carlisle, Pa.
- G.O. No.: 1, 4 January 1944.
- Citation: On 16 June 1943, Maj. Zeamer (then Capt.) volunteered
as pilot of a bomber on
an important photographic mapping mission covering the formidably defended
area in the vicinity of Buka, Solomon Islands. While photographing the
Buka airdrome. his crew observed about 20 enemy fighters on the field,
many of them taking off. Despite the certainty of a dangerous attack by
this strong force, Maj. Zeamer proceeded with his mapping run, even after
the enemy attack began. In the ensuing engagement, Maj. Zeamer sustained
gunshot wounds in both arms and legs, 1 leg being broken. Despite his injuries,
he maneuvered the damaged plane so skillfully that his gunners were able
to fight off the enemy during a running fight which lasted 40 minutes.
The crew destroyed at least 5 hostile planes, of which Maj. Zeamer himself
shot down 1. Although weak from loss of blood, he refused medical aid until
the enemy had broken combat. He then turned over the controls, but continued
to exercise command despite lapses into unconsciousness, and directed the
flight to a base 580 miles away. In this voluntary action, Maj. Zeamer,
with superb skill, resolution, and courage, accomplished a mission of great
- Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 756th Tank Battalion.
- Place and date: Noroy le Bourg, France, 12 September 1944.
- Entered service at: Detroit, Mich.
- Birth: Hamtramck, Mich.
- G.O. No.: 42, 24 May 1945.
- Citation: On 12 September 1944,
2d Lt. Zussman was in command of 2 tanks operating
with an infantry company in the attack on enemy forces occupying the town
of Noroy le Bourg, France. At 7 p.m., his command tank bogged down. Throughout
the ensuing action, armed only with a carbine, he reconnoitered alone on
foot far in advance of his remaining tank and the infantry. Returning only
from time to time to designate targets, he directed the action of the tank
and turned over to the infantry the numerous German soldiers he had caused
to surrender. He located a road block and directed his tanks to destroy
it. Fully exposed to fire from enemy positions only 50 yards distant, he
stood by his tank directing its fire. Three Germans were killed and 8 surrendered.
Again he walked before his tank, leading it against an enemy-held group
of houses, machinegun and small arms fire kicking up dust at his feet.
The tank fire broke the resistance and 20 enemy surrendered. Going forward
again alone he passed an enemy-occupied house from which Germans fired
on him and threw grenades in his path. After a brief fire fight, he signaled
his tank to come up and fire on the house. Eleven German soldiers were
killed and 15 surrendered. Going on alone, he disappeared around a street
corner. The fire of his carbine could be heard and in a few minutes he
reappeared driving 30 prisoners before him. Under 2d Lt. Zussman's heroic
and inspiring leadership, 18 enemy soldiers were killed and 92 captured.