Congressional Medal of Honor Society

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World War II - U.S. Army

Nicholas Oresko

Details
  • Rank: Master Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    1st Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 302d Infantry,
    94th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: January 23, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Tettington, Germany
Citation

M/Sgt. Oresko was a platoon leader with Company C, in an attack against strong enemy positions. Deadly automatic fire from the flanks pinned down his unit. Realizing that a machine gun in a nearby bunker must be eliminated, he swiftly worked ahead alone, braving bullets which struck about him, until close enough to throw a grenade into the German position. He rushed the bunker and, with point-blank rifle fire, killed all the hostile occupants who survived the grenade blast. Another machine gun opened up on him, knocking him down and seriously wounding him in the hip. Refusing to withdraw from the battle, he placed himself at the head of his platoon to continue the assault. As withering machine-gun and rifle fire swept the area, he struck out alone in advance of his men to a second bunker. With a grenade, he crippled the dug-in machine gun defending this position and then wiped out the troops manning it with his rifle, completing his second self-imposed, one-man attack. Although weak from loss of blood, he refused to be evacuated until assured the mission was successfully accomplished. Through quick thinking, indomitable courage, and unswerving devotion to the attack in the face of bitter resistance and while wounded, M/Sgt. Oresko killed 12 Germans, prevented a delay in the assault, and made it possible for Company C to obtain its objective with minimum casualties.

USED WITH PERMISSION, COPYRIGHT NICK DELCALZO
USED WITH PERMISSION, COPYRIGHT NICK DELCALZO
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Bayonne, Hudson County, New Jersey
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: October 12, 1945

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

  • Born: January 18, 1917, Bayonne, Hudson County, NJ, United States
  • Died: , Paramus, NJ, United States
  • Buried: George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus, NJ, United States
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