Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Ernest William Prussman

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    13th Infantry,
    8th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 8, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Les Coates, Brittany, France

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 8 September 1944, near Les Coates, Brittany, France. When the advance of flank companies of two battalions was halted by intense enemy mortar, machine-gun, and sniper fire from a fortified position on his left, Pfc. Prussman maneuvered his squad to assault the enemy fortifications. Hurdling a hedgerow, he came upon two enemy riflemen whom he disarmed. After leading his squad across an open field to the next hedgerow, he advanced to a machine-gun position, destroyed the gun, captured its crew and two riflemen. Again advancing ahead of his squad in the assault, he was mortally wounded by an enemy rifleman, but as he fell to the ground he threw a hand grenade, killing his opponent. His superb leadership and heroic action at the cost of his life so demoralized the enemy that resistance at this point collapsed, permitting the two battalions to continue their advance.

Medal of Honor Recipient Ernest W. Prussman
Medal of Honor Recipient Ernest W. Prussman
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Brighton, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 19, 1945

    Presented by Major General Sherman A. Miles to his mother, Mrs. Herbert Prussman, at Massachusetts' Patriot Day ceremonies on Boston Common.

  • Born: September 15, 1921, Baltimore, Baltimore County, MD, United States
  • Died: September 8, 1944, France
  • Buried: A.B.M.C. Brittany Cemetery (MH) (A-12-14), St. James, France

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