Pvt. Carlton W. Barrett
“On the morning of D-Day, Pvt. Barrett, landing in the face of extremely heavy enemy fire, was forced to wade ashore through neck-deep water. Disregarding the personal danger, he returned to the surf again and again to assist his floundering comrades and save them from drowning.
“Refusing to remain pinned down by the intense barrage of small-arms and mortar fire poured at the landing points, Pvt. Barrett, working with fierce determination, saved many lives by carrying casualties to an evacuation boat lying offshore. In addition to his assigned mission as guide, he carried dispatches the length of the fire-swept beach; he assisted the wounded; he calmed the shocked; he arose as a leader in the stress of the occasion.
“His coolness and his dauntless daring courage while constantly risking his life during a period of many hours had an inestimable effect on his comrades and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.”
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Technician Fifth Grade John J. Pinder Jr.
“On D-Day, Tech. Fifth Grade Pinder landed on the coast 100 yards off shore under devastating enemy machinegun and artillery fire which caused severe casualties among the boatload. Carrying a vitally important radio, he struggled towards shore in waist-deep water.
“Only a few yards from his craft he was hit by enemy fire and was gravely wounded. Tech. Fifth Grade Pinder never stopped. He made shore and delivered the radio. Refusing to take cover afforded, or to accept medical attention for his wounds, Tech. Fifth Grade Pinder, though terribly weakened by loss of blood and in fierce pain, on three occasions went into the fire-swept surf to salvage communication equipment. He recovered many vital parts and equipment, including another workable radio.
“On the third trip he was again hit, suffering machinegun bullet wounds in the legs. Still this valiant soldier would not stop for rest or medical attention. Remaining exposed to heavy enemy fire, growing steadily weaker, he aided in establishing the vital radio communication on the beach. While so engaged this dauntless soldier was hit for the third time and killed.
“The indomitable courage and personal bravery of Tech. Fifth Grade Pinder was a magnificent inspiration to the men with whom he served.”
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Second Lt. John Edward Butts
“Second Lt. Butts heroically led his platoon against the enemy in Normandy, France, on 14, 16 and 23 June, 1944. Although painfully wounded on the 14th near Orglandes and again on the 16th while spearheading an attack to establish a bridgehead across the Douve River, he refused medical aid and remained with his platoon. A week later, near Flottemanville Hague, he led an assault on a tactically important and stubbornly defended hill studded with tanks, antitank guns, pillboxes, and machinegun emplacements, and protected by concentrated artillery and mortar fire.
“As the attack was launched, Second Lt. Butts, at the head of his platoon, was critically wounded by German machinegun fire. Although weakened by his injuries, he rallied his men and directed one squad to make a flanking movement while he alone made a frontal assault to draw the hostile fire upon himself. Once more he was struck, but by grim determination and sheer courage continued to crawl ahead. When within ten yards of his objective, he was killed by direct fire.
“By his superb courage, unflinching valor and inspiring actions, Second Lt. Butts enabled his platoon to take a formidable strong point and contributed greatly to the success of his battalion’s mission.”
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Staff Sgt. Arthur F. DeFranzo
“On 10 June 1944 … as scouts were advancing across an open field, the enemy suddenly opened fire with several machineguns and hit one of the men. Staff Sgt. DeFranzo courageously moved out in the open to the aid of the wounded scout and was himself wounded but brought the man to safety.
“Refusing aid, Staff Sgt. DeFranzo reentered the open field and led the advance upon the enemy. There were always at least two machineguns bringing unrelenting fire upon him, but Staff Sgt. DeFranzo kept going forward, firing into the enemy and one-by-one the enemy emplacements became silent. While advancing he was again wounded, but continued on until he was within 100 yards of the enemy position and even as he fell, he kept firing his rifle and waving his men forward.
“When his company came up behind him, Staff Sgt. DeFranzo, despite his many severe wounds, suddenly raised himself and once more moved forward in the lead of his men until he was again hit by enemy fire. In a final gesture of indomitable courage, he threw several grenades at the enemy machinegun position and completely destroyed the gun. In this action, Staff Sgt. DeFranzo lost his life, but by bearing the brunt of the enemy fire in leading the attack, he prevented a delay in the assault which would have been of considerable benefit to the foe, and he made possible his company’s advance with a minimum of casualties.
“The extraordinary heroism and magnificent devotion to duty displayed by Staff Sgt. DeFranzo was a great inspiration to all about him, and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the armed forces.”
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Staff Sgt. Walter D. Ehlers
Junction City, KS
“Staff Sgt. Ehlers, always acting as the spearhead of the attack, repeatedly led his men against heavily defended enemy strong points [on 9 and 10 June, 1944] exposing himself to deadly hostile fire whenever the situation required heroic and courageous leadership. Without waiting for an order, Staff Sergeant Ehlers, far ahead of his men, led his squad against a strongly defended enemy strong point, personally killing four of an enemy patrol who attacked him en route. Then crawling forward under withering machinegun fire, he pounced upon the gun crew and put it out of action. Turning his attention to two mortars protected by the crossfire of two machineguns, Staff Sergeant Ehlers led his men through this hail of bullets to kill or put to flight the enemy of the mortar section, killing three men himself.
“After mopping up the mortar positions, he again advanced on a machinegun, his progress effectively covered by his squad. When he was almost on top of the gun he leaped to his feet and, although greatly outnumbered, he knocked out the position single-handed.
“The next day, having advanced deep into enemy territory, the platoon of which Staff Sgt. Ehlers was a member, finding itself in an untenable position as the enemy brought increased mortar, machinegun, and small arms fire to bear on it, was ordered to withdraw. Staff Sgt. Ehlers, after his squad had covered the withdrawal of the remainder of the platoon, stood up and by continuous fire at the semicircle of enemy placements, diverted the bulk of the heavy hostile fire on himself, thus permitting the members of his own squad to withdraw.
“At this point, though wounded himself, he carried his wounded automatic rifleman to safety and then returned fearlessly over the shell-swept field to retrieve the automatic rifle which he was unable to carry previously. After having his wound treated, he refused to be evacuated, and returned to lead his squad.
“The intrepid leadership, indomitable courage, and fearless aggressiveness displayed by Staff Sgt. Ehlers in the face of overwhelming enemy forces serve as an inspiration to others.”
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Technical Sgt. Frank D. Peregory
“On 8 June 1944, the 3d Battalion of the 116th Infantry was advancing on the strongly held German defenses at Grandcampe, France, when the leading elements were suddenly halted by decimating machinegun fire from a firmly entrenched enemy force on the high ground overlooking the town.
“After numerous attempts to neutralize the enemy position by supporting artillery and tank fire had proved ineffective, Technical Sgt. Peregory, on his own initiative, advanced up the hill under withering fire, and worked his way to the crest where he discovered an entrenchment leading to the main enemy fortifications 200 yards away. Without hesitating, he leaped into the trench and moved toward the emplacement.
“Encountering a squad of enemy riflemen, he fearlessly attacked them with hand grenades and bayonet, killed eight and forced three to surrender. Continuing along the trench, he single-handedly forced the surrender of 32 more riflemen, captured the machine gunners, and opened the way for the leading elements of the battalion to advance and secure its objective.
“The extraordinary gallantry and aggressiveness displayed by Technical Sgt. Peregory are exemplary of the highest tradition of the armed forces.”
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