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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

John W Dutko

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company A, 30th Infantry,
    3d Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: May 23, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Ponte Rotto, Italy
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, 23 May 1944, near Ponte Rotto, Italy. Pfc. Dutko left the cover of an abandoned enemy trench at the height of an artillery concentration in a singlehanded attack upon three enemy machine-guns and an 88-mm mobile gun. Despite the intense fire of these four weapons which were aimed directly at him, Pfc. Dutko ran 100 yards through the impact area, paused momentarily in a shell crater, and then continued his one-man assault. Although machine-gun bullets kicked up the dirt at his heels, and 88-mm shells exploded within 30 yards of him, Pfc. Dutko nevertheless made his way to a point within 30 yards of the first enemy machine gun and killed both gunners with a hand grenade. Although the second machine gun wounded him, knocking him to the ground, Pfc. Dutko regained his feet and advanced on the 88-mm gun, firing his Browning automatic rifle from the hip. When he came within 10 yards of this weapon he killed its five-man crew with one long burst of fire. Wheeling on the machine gun which had wounded him, Pfc. Dutko killed the gunner and his assistant. The third German machine gun fired on Pfc. Dutko from a position 20 yards distant wounding him a second time as he proceeded toward the enemy weapon in a half run. He killed both members of its crew with a single burst from his Browning automatic rifle, continued toward the gun and died, his body falling across the dead German crew.
Medal of Honor Recipient John W. Dutko
Medal of Honor Recipient John W. Dutko
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Riverside, Burlington County, New Jersey
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: October 14, 1944
    presented by Major Gen. Henry Terril Jr. to his widow Mrs. Ethel M. Dutko
  • Born: October 24, 1916, Dilltown, Indiana County, PA, United States
  • Died: May 23, 1944, Italy
  • Buried: Beverley National Cemetery (MH) (OS-1), Beverley, NJ, United States

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