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World War II - U.S. Army

Francis Xavier McGraw

Details
  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company H, 26th Infantry,
    1st Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: November 19, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Schevenhutte, Germany
Citation
He manned a heavy machine gun emplaced in a foxhole near Schevenhutte, Germany, on 19 November 1944, when the enemy launched a fierce counterattack. Braving an intense hour-long preparatory barrage, he maintained his stand and poured deadly accurate fire into the advancing foot troops until they faltered and came to a halt. The hostile forces brought up a machine gun in an effort to dislodge him but were frustrated when he lifted his gun to an exposed but advantageous position atop a log, courageously stood up in his foxhole, and knocked out the enemy weapon. A rocket blasted his gun from position, but he retrieved it and continued firing. He silenced a second machine gun and then made repeated trips over fire-swept terrain to replenish his ammunition supply. Wounded painfully in this dangerous task, he disregarded his injury and hurried back to his post, where his weapon was showered with mud when another rocket barely missed him. In the midst of the battle, with enemy troops taking advantage of his predicament to press forward, he calmly cleaned his gun, put it back into action and drove off the attackers. He continued to fire until his ammunition was expended, when, with a fierce desire to close with the enemy, he picked up a carbine, killed one enemy soldier, wounded another, and engaged in a desperate fire-fight with a third until he was mortally wounded by a burst from a machine pistol. The extraordinary heroism and intrepidity displayed by Pvt. McGraw inspired his comrades to great efforts and was a major factor in repulsing the enemy attack.
Medal of Honor Recipient Francis X. McGraw
Medal of Honor Recipient Francis X. McGraw
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Camden, Camden County, New Jersey
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: April 29, 1918, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, PA, United States
  • Died: November 19, 1944, Germany
  • Buried: A.B.M.C. Henri-Chapelle Cemetery , Henri-Chapelle, Belgium
 

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