Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Joe C Specker

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    48th Combat Engineer Battalion
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: January 7, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Mount Porchia, Italy
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, in action involving actual conflict. On the night of 7 January 1944, Sgt. Specker, with his company, was advancing up the slope of Mount Porchia, Italy. He was sent forward on reconnaissance and on his return he reported to his company commander the fact that there was an enemy machine-gun nest and several well-placed snipers directly in the path and awaiting the company. Sgt. Specker requested and was granted permission to place one of his machine guns in a position near the enemy machine gun. Voluntarily and alone he made his way up the mountain with a machine gun and a box of ammunition. He was observed by the enemy as he walked along and was severely wounded by the deadly fire directed at him. Though so seriously wounded that he was unable to walk, he continued to drag himself over the jagged edges of rock and rough terrain until he reached the position at which he desired to set up his machine gun. He set up the gun so well and fired so accurately that the enemy machine-gun nest was silenced and the remainder of the snipers forced to retire, enabling his platoon to obtain their objective. Sgt. Specker was found dead at his gun. His personal bravery, self-sacrifice, and determination were an inspiration to his officers and fellow soldiers.
Medal of Honor Recipient Joe C. Specker
Medal of Honor Recipient Joe C. Specker
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Odessa, Lafayette County, Missouri
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: July 30, 1944
    In Odessa, Missouri, by Maj. Gen. John B. Anderson, to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer C. Specker
  • Born: January 10, 1921, Odessa, Lafayette County, MO, United States
  • Died: January 7, 1944, Italy
  • Buried: Odessa Cemetery (PM) (6-175-3), Odessa, MO, United States

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