Monday, January 13, 2020

Medal of Honor Monday: Leonard A. Funk


"He distinguished himself by gallant, intrepid actions against the enemy.   After advancing 15 miles in a driving snowstorm, the American force prepared to attack through waist-deep drifts.  The company executive officer became a casualty, and 1st Sgt. Funk immediately assumed his duties, forming headquarters soldiers into a combat unit for an assault in the face of direct artillery shelling and harassing fire from the right flank.  Under his skillful and courageous leadership, this miscellaneous group and the 3d Platoon attacked 15 houses, cleared them, and took 30 prisoners without suffering a casualty.  The fierce drive of Company C quickly overran Holzheim, netting some 80 prisoners, who were placed under a 4-man guard, all that could be spared, while the rest of the under-strength unit went about mopping up isolated points of resistance.  An enemy patrol, by means of a ruse, succeeded in capturing the guards and freeing the prisoners, and had begun preparations to attack Company C from the rear when 1st Sgt. Funk walked around the building and into their midst.  He was ordered to surrender by a German officer who pushed a machine pistol into his stomach.  Although overwhelmingly outnumbered and facing almost certain death, 1st Sgt. Funk, pretending to comply with the order, began slowly to un-sling his sub-machine gun from his shoulder and then, with lightning motion, brought the muzzle into line and riddled the German officer.  He turned upon the other Germans, firing and shouting to the other Americans to seize the enemy's weapons.  In the ensuing fight 21 Germans were killed, many wounded, and the remainder captured.  1st Sgt. Funk's bold action and heroic disregard for his own safety were directly responsible for the recapture of a vastly superior enemy force, which, if allowed to remain free, could have taken the widespread units of Company C by surprise and endangered the entire attack plan."

From 1st Sgt Funk's Medal of Honor citation, awarded on September 5, 1945.

Thank you for your service and may you be at peace,
Brian & Melonie

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