Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Joseph J Cicchetti

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company A, 148th Infantry,
    37th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 9, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: South Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands
He was with troops assaulting the first important line of enemy defenses. The Japanese had converted the partially destroyed Manila Gas Works and adjacent building into a formidable system of mutually supporting strongpoints from which they were concentrating machine-gun, mortar, and heavy artillery fire on the American forces. Casualties rapidly mounted, and the medical aidmen, finding it increasingly difficult to evacuate the wounded, called for volunteer litter bearers. Pfc. Cicchetti immediately responded, organized a litter team, and skillfully led it for more than four hours in rescuing 14 wounded men, constantly passing back and forth over a 400-yard route which was the impact area for a tremendous volume of the most intense enemy fire. On one return trip the path was blocked by machine-gun fire, but Pfc. Cicchetti deliberately exposed himself to draw the automatic fire which he neutralized with his own rifle while ordering the rest of the team to rush past to safety with the wounded. While gallantly continuing his work, he noticed a group of wounded and helpless soldiers some distance away and ran to their rescue although the enemy fire had increased to new fury. As he approached the casualties, he was struck in the head by a shell fragment, but with complete disregard for his gaping wound he continued to his comrades, lifted one and carried him on his shoulders 50 yards to safety. He then collapsed and died. By his skilled leadership, indomitable will, and dauntless courage, Pfc. Cicchetti saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers at the cost of his own.
Medal of Honor Recipient Joseph J. Cicchetti
Medal of Honor Recipient Joseph J. Cicchetti
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Waynesburg, Stark County, Ohio
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: presented to his father Mr. Patsy Cicchetti
  • Born: June 8, 1923, Waynesburg, Stark County, OH, United States
  • Died: February 9, 1945, Philippine Islands
  • Buried: Sandy Valley Cemetery (MH), Waynesburg, OH, United States
  • Location of Medal: Ohio Military Museum, Massillon, OH

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