Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

John W Minick

  • Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company I, 3d Battalion, 121st Infantry,
    8th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: November 21, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Hurtgen, Germany
He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, in action involving actual conflict with the enemy on 21 November 1944, near Hurtgen, Germany. S/Sgt. Minick's battalion was halted in its advance by extensive minefields, exposing troops to heavy concentrations of enemy artillery and mortar fire. Further delay in the advance would result in numerous casualties, and a movement through the minefield was essential. Voluntarily, S/Sgt. Minick led four men through hazardous barbed wire and debris, finally making his way through the minefield for a distance of 300 yards. When an enemy machine gun opened fire, he signaled his men to take covered positions, edged his way alone toward the flank of the weapon, and opened fire, killing two members of the guncrew and capturing three others. Moving forward again, he encountered and engaged singlehandedly an entire company killing 20 Germans and capturing 20, and enabling his platoon to capture the remainder of the hostile group. Again moving ahead and spearheading his battalion's advance, he again encountered machine-gun fire. Crawling forward toward the weapon, he reached a point from which he knocked the weapon out of action. Still another minefield had to be crossed. Undeterred, S/Sgt. Minick advanced forward alone through constant enemy fire and while thus moving, detonated a mine and was instantly killed.
Medal of Honor Recipient John W. Minick
Medal of Honor Recipient John W. Minick
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: December 11, 1948
    Presented by Gen. Omar Bradley to his widow
  • Born: June 14, 1908, Wall, Allegheny County, PA, United States
  • Died: November 21, 1944, Germany
  • Buried: Westminster Cemetery (MH) (F-304-2) , Carlisle, PA, United States
  • Location of Medal: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, Pittsburgh, PA

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