The Medal of Honor
The Second World War saw countless displays of courage and feats of heroism on the battlefield. There were those men, however, who displayed such daring and intrepidity that they distinguish themselves far above the rest. These proved to be the bravest of the brave. As such, they were awarded our country’s highest decoration for combat heroism… The Medal of Honor.
There were those, however, who displayed such daring and intrepidity on the battlefield that they distinguish themselves much more highly above the rest. These men were the bravest of the brave. As such, they were awarded the highest decoration our country can bestow for heroism in combat action … The Medal of Honor.
The requirements for the Medal of Honor were standardized among all the services, requiring that a recipient had to “distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.”
During World War II, over 16 million people served in the armed forces of the United States. Of these, there were 291,557 combat deaths. Out of the 16 million who saw active service, only 471 were awarded the Medal of Honor. Of these … 266 were awarded posthumously.
42 members of the 3rd Infantry Division were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Second World War … the highest number of any unit serving in combat action.
What follows is a list of citations for recipients in this division who were so honored … and whose courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty must never be forgotten by this nation. In reading these citations one has to wonder what makes men like this. What motivated them to perform such selfless acts of supreme courage? Where does such courage come from? These deeds of valor are incredible and the citations almost unbelievable … yet all are thoroughly documented and attested to by those who were there to see it.
Each man performed just as it is set down; under the most extreme and horrific conditions imaginable. To stand in the presence of one of these brave men is a most humbling experience. To think of the courage they displayed numbs the senses. Most are gone now … gone west. Taps has sounded … but their valorous acts and sacrifice live on in the hearts of a grateful nation … and in pages of our military history. Read on … and be awed by what they did those many years ago.