Monday, August 26, 2019

Medal of Honor & Texas Medal of Honor Monday: George B. Turner

"Private Turner, at Phillippsbourg, France, on 3 January 1945 was cut off from his artillery unit by an enemy armored infantry attack.  Coming upon a friendly infantry company withdrawing under the vicious onslaught, he noticed two German tanks and approximately seventy-five supporting foot soldiers advancing down the main street of the village.   Seizing a rocket launcher, he advanced under intense small arms and cannon fire to meet the tanks and standing in the middle of the road, fired at them, destroying one and disabling the second.   From a nearby half-track he then dismounted a machine gun, placed it in the open street and fired into the enemy infantrymen, killing or wounding a great number and breaking up the attack.  In the American counterattack which followed, two supporting tanks were disabled by an enemy antitank gun.  Firing a light machine gun from the hip, Private Turner held off the enemy so that the crews of the disabled vehicles could extricate themselves.  He ran through a hail of fire to one of the tanks which had burst into flames and attempted to rescue a man who had been unable to escape; but an explosion of the tank’s ammunition frustrated his effort and wounded him painfully.   Refusing to be evacuated, he remained with the infantry until the following day, driving off an enemy patrol with serious casualties, assisting in capturing a hostile strong point and voluntarily and fearlessly driving a truck through heavy enemy fire to deliver wounded men to the rear aid station.  The great courage displayed by Private Turner and his magnificently heroic initiative contributed materially to the defense of the French town and inspired the troops about him."

From Pvt. Turner's Medal of Honor citation, awarded on August 23, 1945.
Awarded the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor in 1997.

May you be at peace,

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