Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Daniel Warnel Lee Sr.

  • Rank: First Lieutenant (rank at time of action: Second Lieutenant)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Troop A, 117th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron,
    7th Army
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 2, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Montreval, France
First Lt. (then 2d Lt.) Daniel W. Lee was leader of Headquarters Platoon, Troop A, 117th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Mechanized, at Montreval, France, on 2 September 1944, when the Germans mounted a strong counterattack, isolating the town and engaging its outnumbered defenders in a pitched battle. After the fight had raged for hours and our forces had withstood heavy shelling and armor-supported infantry attacks, 2d Lt. Lee organized a patrol to knock out mortars which were inflicting heavy casualties on the beleaguered reconnaissance troops. He led the small group to the edge of the town, sweeping enemy riflemen out of position on a ridge from which he observed seven Germans manning two large mortars near an armored half-track about 100 yards down the reverse slope. Armed with a rifle and grenades, he left his men on the high ground and crawled to within 30 yards of the mortars, where the enemy discovered him and unleashed machine-pistol fire which shattered his right thigh. Scorning retreat, bleeding, and suffering intense pain, he dragged himself relentlessly forward. He killed five of the enemy with rifle fire, and the others fled before he reached their position. Fired on by an armored car, he took cover behind the German half-track and there found a panzerfaust with which to neutralize this threat. Despite his wounds, he inched his way toward the car through withering machine-gun fire, maneuvered into range, and blasted the vehicle with a round from the rocket launcher, forcing it to withdraw. Having cleared the slope of hostile troops, he struggled back to his men, where he collapsed from pain and loss of blood. Second Lt. Lee's outstanding gallantry, willing risk of life, and extreme tenacity of purpose in coming to grips with the enemy, although suffering from grievous wounds, set an example of bravery and devotion to duty in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.
Medal of Honor Recipient Daniel W. Lee Sr.
Medal of Honor Recipient Daniel W. Lee Sr.
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Alma, Bacon County, Georgia
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: January 23, 1946
    Washington, D.C., presented by Pres. Harry S. Truman
  • Born: June 23, 1919, Alma, Bacon County, GA, United States
  • Died: January 22, 1985, San Antonio, TX, United States
  • Buried: Rose Hill Cemetery (MH) , Alma, GA, United States

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