Remembering Medal of Honor heroes


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United States Medal of Honor. United States Government photos.

Audie Murphy

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company B 15th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Holtzwihr France, Jan. 26, 1945.

Entered service at: Dallas, Texas. Birth: Hunt County, near Kingston, Texas, G.O. No. 65, Aug. 9, 1944.

 Citation: Second Lt. Murphy commanded Company B, which was attacked by six tanks and waves of infantry. 2d Lt. Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to a prepared position in a woods, while he remained forward at his command post and continued to give fire directions to the artillery by telephone. Behind him, to his right, one of our tank destroyers received a direct hit and began to burn. Its crew withdrew to the woods. 2d Lt. Murphy continued to direct artillery fire, which killed large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry. With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, 2d Lt. Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer, which was in danger of blowing up at any moment, and employed its .50 caliber machine gun against the enemy. He was alone and exposed to German fire from three sides, but his deadly fire killed dozens of Germans and caused their infantry attack to waver. The enemy tanks, losing infantry support, began to fall back. For an hour the Germans tried every available weapon to eliminate 2d Lt. Murphy, but he continued to hold his position and wiped out a squad that was trying to creep up unnoticed on his right flank. Germans reached as close as 10 yards, only to be mowed down by his fire. He received a leg wound, but ignored it and continued his single-handed fight until his ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way back to his company, refused medical attention, and organized the company in a counterattack, which forced the Germans to withdraw. His directing of artillery fire wiped out many of the enemy; he killed or wounded about 50. 2d Lt. Murphy’s indomitable courage and his refusal to give an inch of ground saved his company from possible encirclement and destruction, and enabled it to hold the woods which had been the enemy’s objective.

William R. Caddy

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rifleman with Company I, Third Battalion, Twenty-sixth Marines, Fifth Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, 3 March 1945. Consistently aggressive, Private First Class Caddy boldly defied shattering Japanese machine-gun and small-arms fire to move forward with his platoon leader and another Marine during a determined advance of his company through an isolated sector and, gaining the comparative safety of a shell hole, took temporary cover with his comrades. Immediately pinned down by deadly sniper fire from a well-concealed position, he made several unsuccessful attempts to again move forward and then, joined by his platoon leader, engaged the enemy in a fierce exchange of hand grenades until a Japanese grenade fell in the shell hole. Fearlessly disregarding all personal danger, Private First Class Caddy instantly threw himself upon the deadly missile, absorbing the exploding charge in his own body and protecting the others from serious injury. Stouthearted and indomitable, he unhesitatingly yielded his own life that his fellow Marines might carry on the relentless battle against a fanatic enemy. His dauntless courage and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death reflects the highest credit upon Private First Class Caddy and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Archer T. Gammon

Gammon charged 30 yards through hip-deep snow to knock out a machine gun and its 3-man crew with grenades, saving his platoon from being decimated and allowing it to continue its advance from an open field into some nearby woods. The platoon’s advance through the woods had only begun when a machine gun supported by riflemen opened fire and a Tiger Royal tank sent 88mm shells screaming at the unit from the left flank. S/Sgt. Gammon, disregarding all thoughts of personal safety, rushed forward, then cut to the left, crossing the width of the platoon’s skirmish line in an attempt to get within grenade range of the tank and its protecting foot troops. Intense fire was concentrated on him by riflemen and the machine gun emplaced near the tank. He charged the automatic weapon, wiped out its crew of four with grenades, and, with supreme daring, advanced to within 25 yards of the armored vehicle, killing two hostile infantrymen with rifle fire as he moved forward. The tank had started to withdraw, backing a short distance, then firing, backing some more, and then stopping to blast out another round, when the man whose single-handed relentless attack had put the ponderous machine on the defensive was struck and instantly killed by a direct hit from the Tiger Royal’s heavy gun. By his intrepidity and extreme devotion to the task of driving the enemy back no matter what the odds, S/Sgt. Gammon cleared the woods of German forces, for the tank continued to withdraw, leaving open the path for the gallant squad leader’s platoon.

Jason Dunham

Jason Dunham was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps who served with 4th Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment (3/7), I Marine Expeditionary Force, 1st Marine Division, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. On Nov. 10, 2006, at the dedication of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, President George W. Bush announced that Dunham would be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on April 14, 2004, near Husaybah, Iraq. Dunham became the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq, and the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.

Michael Patrick Murphy

Michael Patrick Murphy (May 7, 1976-June 28, 2005) was a United States Navy SEAL posthumously awarded the United States military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the current War in Afghanistan. He was the first person to be awarded the medal for actions in Afghanistan; and the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War.

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Audie Murphy
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William Caddy
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Archer Gammon
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Jason Dunham
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Michael P. Murphy

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