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CMOHS.org - Private GARMAN, HAROLD A., U.S. Army

Recipient Detail

 

GARMAN, HAROLD A.

Rank: Private
Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Company B
Division: 5th Medical Battalion, 5th Infantry Division
Born: 26 February 1918, Fairfield, Ill.
Departed: Yes
Entered Service At: Albion, Ill.
G.O. Number: 20
Date of Issue: 03/29/1945
Accredited To:
Place / Date: Near Montereau, France, 25 August 1944
 
 


GARMAN, HAROLD A. Photo
 
Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On 25 August 1944, in the vicinity of Montereau, France, the enemy was sharply contesting any enlargement of the bridgehead which our forces had established on the northern bank of the Seine River in this sector. Casualties were being evacuated to the southern shore in assault boats paddled by litter bearers from a medical battalion. Pvt. Garman, also a litter bearer in this battalion, was working on the friendly shore carrying the wounded from the boats to waiting ambulances. As 1 boatload of wounded reached midstream, a German machinegun suddenly opened fire upon it from a commanding position on the northern bank 100 yards away. All of the men in the boat immediately took to the water except 1 man who was so badly wounded he could not rise from his litter. Two other patients who were unable to swim because of their wounds clung to the sides of the boat. Seeing the extreme danger of these patients, Pvt. Garman without a moment's hesitation plunged into the Seine. Swimming directly into a hail of machinegun bullets, he rapidly reached the assault boat and then while still under accurately aimed fire towed the boat with great effort to the southern shore. This soldier's moving heroism not only saved the lives of the three patients but so inspired his comrades that additional assault boats were immediately procured and the evacuation of the wounded resumed. Pvt. Garman's great courage and his heroic devotion to the highest tenets of the Medical Corps may be written with great pride in the annals of the corps.