Monday, February 15, 2016

Medal of Honor Monday: Clyde L. Choate

 
 "He commanded a tank destroyer near Bruyeres, France, on October 25, 1944.  Our infantry occupied a position on a wooded hill when, at dusk, an enemy Mark IV tank and a company of infantry attacked, threatening to overrun the American position and capture a command post 400 yards to the rear.  S/Sgt. Choate's tank destroyer, the only weapon available to oppose the German armor, was set afire by 2 hits.  Ordering his men to abandon the destroyer, S/Sgt. Choate reached comparative safety.  He returned to the burning destroyer to search for comrades possibly trapped in the vehicle risking instant death in an explosion which was imminent and braving enemy fire which ripped his jacket and tore the helmet from his head.   Completing the search and seeing the tank and its supporting infantry overrunning our infantry in their shallow foxholes, he secured a bazooka and ran after the tank, dodging from tree to tree and passing through the enemy's loose skirmish line.  He fired a rocket from a distance of 20 yards, immobilizing the tank but leaving it able to spray the area with cannon and machine gun fire.  Running back to our infantry through vicious fire, he secured another rocket, and, advancing against a hail of machine gun and small-arms fire reached a position 10 yards from the tank.  His second shot shattered the turret.  With his pistol he killed 2 of the crew as they emerged from the tank; and then running to the crippled Mark IV while enemy infantry sniped at him, he dropped a grenade inside the tank and completed its destruction.  With their armor gone, the enemy infantry became disorganized and was driven back.  S/Sgt. Choate's great daring in assaulting an enemy tank single-handed, his determination to follow the vehicle after it had passed his position, and his skill and crushing thoroughness in the attack prevented the enemy from capturing a battalion command post and turned a probable defeat into a tactical success."
 
From S/Sgt. Choate's Medal of Honor citation, awarded on August 23, 1945.
 
Thank you for your service and my you be at peace,
Brian

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