Monday, July 14, 2014

Medal of Honor Monday: Vito R. Bertoldo

"He fought with extreme gallantry while guarding 2 command posts against the assault of powerful infantry and armored forces which had overrun the battalion's main line of resistance.  On the close approach of enemy soldiers, he left the protection of the building he defended and set up his gun in the street, there to remain for almost 12 hours driving back attacks while in full view of his adversaries and completely exposed to 88-mm, machine gun and small-arms fire.  He moved back inside the command post, strapped his machine gun to a table and covered the main approach to the building by firing through a window, remaining steadfast even in the face of 88-mm fire from tanks only 75 yards away.  One shell blasted him across the room, but he returned to his weapon.  When 2 enemy armored personnel carriers led by a tank moved toward his position, he calmly waited for the troops to dismount and then, with the tank firing directly at him, leaned out of the window and mowed down the entire group of more than 20 Germans.  Some time later, removal of the command post to another building was ordered.  M/Sgt. Bertoldo voluntarily remained behind, covering the withdrawal of his comrades and maintaining his stand all night.  In the morning he carried his machine gun to an adjacent building used as the command post of another battalion and began a day-long defense of that position.  He broke up a heavy attack, launched by a self-propelled 88-mm gun covered by a tank and about 15 infantrymen.  Soon afterward another 88-mm weapon moved up to within a few feet of his position and placing the muzzle of its gun almost inside the building fired into the room, knocking him down and seriously wounding others.  An American bazooka team set the German weapon afire, and M/Sgt. Bertoldo went back to his machine gun dazed as he was and killed several of the hostile troops as they attempted to withdraw.  It was decided to evacuate the command post under the cover of darkness, but before the plan could be put into operation the enemy began an intensive assault supported by fire from their tanks and heavy guns.  Disregarding the devastating barrage, he remained at his post and hurled white phosphorus grenades into the advancing enemy troops until they broke and retreated.  A tank less than 50 yards away fired at his stronghold, destroyed the machine gun and blew him across the room again but he once more returned to the bitter fight and with a rifle, single-handedly covered the withdrawal of his fellow soldiers when the post was finally abandoned.  With inspiring bravery and intrepidity M/Sgt. Bertoldo withstood the attack of vastly superior forces for more than 48 hours without rest or relief, time after time escaping death only by the slightest margin while killing at least 40 hostile soldiers and wounding many more during his grim battle against the enemy hordes."

From M/Sgt. Vito R. Bertoldo's Medal of Honor citation, awarded on January 10, 1946.

Thank you for your service and may you be at peace,

Bertoldo is featured in episode 5 of Netflix's "Medal of Honor" series.  Take a look and see Bertoldo's exploits in motion.


  1. I'd love to see in this feature heroes of other allied forces, such as this one:

    20-years-old nurse in the Red Army thew herself under a Nazi tank with a bunch of grenades and detonated herself with them in order to save the lives of wounded men who were under her care and push back a Nazi attack.

    1. Done. Watch every Wednesday for Allied heroes and Friday for the Axis'.