Congressional Medal of Honor Society

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World War II - U.S. Army

Melvin Earl Biddle

Details
  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    1st Squad, 2d Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion,
    517th Parachute Infantry Regiment
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: December 23 - 24, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: between Soy and Hotton, Belgium
Citation

He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy near Soy, Belgium, on 23 and 24 December 1944. Serving as lead scout during an attack to relieve the enemy-encircled town of Hotton, he aggressively penetrated a densely wooded area, advanced 400 yards until he came within range of intense enemy rifle fire, and within 20 yards of enemy positions killed three snipers with unerring marksmanship. Courageously continuing his advance an additional 200 yards, he discovered a hostile machine-gun position and dispatched its two occupants. He then located the approximate position of a well-concealed enemy machine-gun nest, and crawling forward threw hand grenades which killed two Germans and fatally wounded a third. After signaling his company to advance, he entered a determined line of enemy defense, cooly and deliberately shifted his position, and shot three more enemy soldiers. Undaunted by enemy fire, he crawled within 20 yards of a machine-gun nest, tossed his last hand grenade into the position, and after the explosion charged the emplacement firing his rifle. When night fell, he scouted enemy positions alone for several hours and returned with valuable information which enabled our attacking infantry and armor to knock out two enemy tanks. At daybreak he again led the advance and, when flanking elements were pinned down by enemy fire, without hesitation made his way toward a hostile machine-gun position and from a distance of 50 yards killed the crew and two supporting riflemen. The remainder of the enemy, finding themselves without automatic-weapon support, fled panic-stricken. Pfc. Biddle's intrepid courage and superb daring during his 20-hour action enabled his battalion to break the enemy grasp on Hotton with a minimum of casualties.

USED WITH PERMISSION, COPYRIGHT NICK DELCALZO
USED WITH PERMISSION, COPYRIGHT NICK DELCALZO
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Anderson, Madison County, Indiana
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: October 12, 1945

    The White House, presented by Pres. Harry S. Truman

  • Born: November 28, 1923, Daleville, Delaware County, IN, United States
  • Died: December 17, 2010, Anderson, IN, United States
  • Buried: Anderson Memorial Cemetery, Anderson, IN, United States
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