Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Charles L McGaha

  • Rank: Master Sergeant (Highest Rank: Major)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company G, 35th Infantry,
    25th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 7, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Lupao, Luzon, Philippine Islands
He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity. His platoon and one other from Company G were pinned down in a roadside ditch by heavy fire from five Japanese tanks supported by 10 machine guns and a platoon of riflemen. When one of his men fell wounded 40 yards away, he unhesitatingly crossed the road under a hail of bullets and moved the man 75 yards to safety. Although he had suffered a deep arm wound, he returned to his post. Finding the platoon leader seriously wounded, he assumed command and rallied his men. Once more he braved the enemy fire to go to the aid of a litter party removing another wounded soldier. A shell exploded in their midst, wounding him in the shoulder and killing two of the party. He picked up the remaining man, carried him to cover, and then moved out in front deliberately to draw the enemy fire while the American forces, thus protected, withdrew to safety. When the last man had gained the new position, he rejoined his command and there collapsed from loss of blood and exhaustion. MSgt. McGaha set an example of courage and leadership in keeping with the highest traditions of the service.
Medal of Honor Recipient Charles L. McGaha
Medal of Honor Recipient Charles L. McGaha
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Cosby, Cocke County, Tennessee
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: March 27, 1946
    The White House, presented by Pres. Harry S. Truman
  • Born: February 26, 1914, Cosby, Cocke County, TN, United States
  • Died: August 8, 1984, Columbus, GA, United States
  • Buried: Union Cemetery (PM), New Port, TN, United States

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