Monday, August 25, 2014

Medal of Honor Monday: Orville E. Bloch

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.  1st Lt. Bloch undertook the task of wiping out 5 enemy machine gun nests that had held up the advance in that particular sector for 1 day.  Gathering 3 volunteers from his platoon, the patrol snaked their way to a big rock, behind which a group of 3 buildings and 5 machine gun nests were located.  Leaving the 3 men behind the rock, he attacked the first machine gun nest alone charging into furious automatic fire, kicking over the machine gun, and capturing the machine gun crew of 5.  Pulling the pin from a grenade, he held it ready in his hand and dashed into the face of withering automatic fire toward this second enemy machine gun nest located at the corner of an adjacent building 15 yards distant.  When within 20 feet of the machine gun he hurled the grenade, wounding the machine gunner, the other 2 members of the crew fleeing into a door of the house.  Calling one of his volunteer group to accompany him, they advanced to the opposite end of the house, there contacting a machine gun crew of 5 running toward this house.  1st Lt Bloch and his men opened fire on the enemy crew, forcing them to abandon this machine gun and ammunition and flee into the same house.  Without a moment's hesitation, 1st Lt. Bloch, unassisted, rushed through the door into a hail of small-arms fire, firing his carbine from the hip and captured the 7 occupants, wounding 3 of them.  1st Lt. Bloch with his men then proceeded to a third house where they discovered an abandoned enemy machine gun and detected another enemy machine gun nest at the next corner of the building.  The crew of 6 spotted 1st Lt. Bloch the instant he saw them.  Without a moment's hesitation he dashed toward them.  The enemy fired pistols wildly in his direction and vanished through a door of the house, 1st Lt. Bloch following them through the door, firing his carbine from the hip, wounding 2 of the enemy and capturing 6.  Altogether 1st Lt. Bloch had single-highhandedly captured 19 prisoners, wounding 6 of them and eliminating a total of 5 enemy machine gun nests.  His gallant and heroic actions saved his company many casualties and permitted them to continue the attack with new inspiration and vigor."  

From 1st Lieutenant Orville E. Bloch's Medal of Honor citation , awarded on  February 10, 1945.

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

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