Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Edward Carl Dahlgren

  • Rank: Second Lieutenant (rank at time of action: Sergeant)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    3d Platoon, Company E, 2d Battalion, 142d Infantry,
    36th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 11, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Oberhoffen, France

He led the 3d Platoon to the rescue of a similar unit which had been surrounded in an enemy counterattack at Oberhoffen, France. As he advanced along a street, he observed several Germans crossing a field about 100 yards away. Running into a barn, he took up a position in a window and swept the hostile troops with submachine-gun fire, killing six, wounding others, and completely disorganizing the group. His platoon then moved forward through intermittent sniper fire and made contact with the besieged Americans. When the two platoons had been reorganized, Sgt. Dahlgren continued to advance along the street until he drew fire from an enemy-held house. In the face of machine-pistol and rifle fire, he ran toward the building, hurled a grenade through the door, and blasted his way inside with his gun. This aggressive attack so rattled the Germans that all eight men who had held the strongpoint immediately surrendered. As Sgt. Dahlgren started toward the next house, hostile machine-gun fire drove him to cover. He secured rifle grenades, stepped to an exposed position, and calmly launched his missles from a difficult angle until he had destroyed the machine gun and killed its two operators. He moved to the rear of the house and suddenly came under the fire of a machine gun emplaced in a barn. Throwing a grenade into the structure, he rushed the position, firing his weapon as he ran; within, he overwhelmed five Germans. After reorganizing his unit he advanced to clear hostile riflemen from the building where he had destroyed the machine gun. He entered the house by a window and trapped the Germans in the cellar, where he tossed grenades into their midst, wounding several and forcing 10 more to surrender. While reconnoitering another street with a comrade, he heard German voices in a house. An attack with rifle grenades drove the hostile troops to the cellar. Sgt. Dahlgren entered the building, kicked open the cellar door, and, firing several bursts down the stairway, called for the trapped enemy to surrender. Sixteen soldiers filed out with their hands in the air. The bold leadership and magnificent courage displayed by Sgt. Dahlgren in his heroic attacks were in a large measure responsible for repulsing an enemy counterattack and saving an American platoon from great danger.

Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Caribou, Aroostook County, Maine
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: August 23, 1945

    The White House, presented by Pres. Harry S. Truman

  • Born: March 14, 1916, Perham, Aroostook County, ME, United States
  • Died: May 31, 2006, Mars Hill, ME, United States
  • Buried: Pierce Cemetery, Mars Hill, ME, United States

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