Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Emile Deleau Jr.

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company A, 142d Infantry,
    36th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 1 - 2, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Oberhoffen, France
He led a squad in the night attack on Oberhoffen, France, where fierce house-to-house fighting took place. After clearing one building of opposition, he moved his men toward a second house from which heavy machine-gun fire came. He courageously exposed himself to hostile bullets and, firing his submachine gun as he went, advanced steadily toward the enemy position until close enough to hurl grenades through a window, killing three Germans and wrecking their gun. His progress was stopped by heavy rifle and machine-gun fire from another house. Sgt. Deleau dashed through the door with his gun blazing. Within, he captured 10 Germans. The squad then took up a position for the night and awaited daylight to resume the attack. At dawn of 2 February, Sgt. Deleau pressed forward with his unit, killing two snipers as he advanced to a point where machine-gun fire from a house barred the way. Despite vicious small-arms fire, Sgt. Deleau ran across an open area to reach the rear of the building, where he destroyed one machine gun and killed its two operators with a grenade. He worked to the front of the structure and located a second machine gun. Finding it impossible to toss a grenade into the house from his protected position, he fearlessly moved away from the building and was about to hurl his explosive when he was instantly killed by a burst from the gun he sought to knock out. With magnificent courage and daring aggressiveness, Sgt. Deleau cleared four well-defended houses of Germans, inflicted severe losses on the enemy, and at the sacrifice of his own life aided his battalion to reach its objective with a minimum of casualties.
Medal of Honor Recipient Emile Deleau Jr.
Medal of Honor Recipient Emile Deleau Jr.
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Blaine, Belmont County, Ohio
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: June 28, 1923, Lansing, Belmont County, OH, United States
  • Died: February 2, 1945, France
  • Buried: Linwood Cemetery (MH) (D), Blaine, OH, United States

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