Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Ernest "Chief" Childers

  • Rank: Second Lieutenant (Highest Rank: Colonel)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company C, 180th Infantry,
    45th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 22, 1943
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Oliveto, Italy

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action on 22 September 1943, at Oliveto, Italy. Although 2d Lt. Childers previously had just suffered a fractured instep, he, with eight enlisted men, advanced up a hill toward enemy machine-gun nests. The group advanced to a rock wall overlooking a cornfield and 2d Lt. Childers ordered a base of fire laid across the field so that he could advance. When he was fired upon by two enemy snipers from a nearby house he killed both of them. He moved behind the machine-gun nests and killed all occupants of the nearer one. He continued toward the second one and threw rocks into it. When the two occupants of the nest raised up, he shot one. The other was killed by one of the eight enlisted men. 2d Lt. Childers continued his advance toward a house farther up the hill, and singlehandedly, captured an enemy mortar observer. The exceptional leadership, initiative, calmness under fire, and conspicuous gallantry displayed by 2d Lt. Childers were an inspiration to his men.

Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 22, 1944

    Naples, Italy, presented by Lt. Gen. Jacob L. Devers on battlefield

  • Born: February 1, 1918, Broken Arrow, Tulsa County, OK, United States
  • Died: March 17, 2005, Coweta, OK, United States
  • Buried: Floral Haven Cemetery (MH), Crypt at Veterans Field of Honor, Broken Arrow, OK, United States

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