Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Alvin P Carey

  • Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    38th Infantry,
    2d Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: August 23, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Plougastel, Brittany, France

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, 23 August 1944. SSgt. Carey, leader of a machine-gun section, was advancing with his company in the attack on the strongly held enemy hill 154, near Plougastel, Brittany, France. The advance was held up when the attacking units were pinned down by intense enemy machine-gun fire from a pillbox 200 yards up the hill. From his position covering the right flank, SSgt. Carey displaced his guns to an advanced position and then, upon his own initiative, armed himself with as many hand grenades as he could carry and without regard for his personal safety started alone up the hill toward the pillbox. Crawling forward under its withering fire, he proceeded 150 yards when he met a German rifleman whom he killed with his carbine. Continuing his steady forward movement until he reached grenade-throwing distance, he hurled his grenades at the pillbox-opening in the face of intense enemy fire which wounded him mortally. Undaunted, he gathered his strength and continued his grenade attack until one entered and exploded within the pillbox, killing the occupants and putting their guns out of action. Inspired by SSgt. Carey's heroic act, the riflemen quickly occupied the position and overpowered the remaining enemy resistance in the vicinity.

Medal of Honor Recipient Alvin P. Carey
Medal of Honor Recipient Alvin P. Carey
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Laughlintown, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: August 16, 1916, Lycippus, Westmoreland County, PA, United States
  • Died: August 23, 1944, near Plougastel, France
  • Buried: Ligonier Valley Cemetery, Ligonier, PA, United States

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