Recipient Detail



Rank: Private First Class
Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Company I
Division: 148th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division
Born: 15 August 1915, Chicago, Ill.
Departed: Yes
Entered Service At: Chicago, Ill.
G.O. Number: 18
Date of Issue: 02/13/1946
Accredited To:
Place / Date: Balete Pass, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 8 May 1945


He was an acting squad leader, directing his men in consolidating a newly won position on Hill B when the enemy concentrated small arms fire and grenades upon him and 4 others, driving them to cover in an abandoned Japanese trench. A grenade thrown from above landed in the center of the group. Instantly pushing his comrades aside and jamming the grenade into the earth with his rifle butt, he threw himself over it, making a shield of his body to protect the other men. The grenade exploded under him, and he died a few minutes later. By his extraordinary heroism in deliberately giving his life to save those of his comrades, Pfc. Krotiak set an inspiring example of utter devotion and self-sacrifice which reflects the highest traditions of the military service.