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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Paul Bert Huff

  • Rank: Corporal (Highest Rank: Command Sergeant Major)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    1st Squad, 1st Platoon, Company A, 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion,
    5th Army
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 8, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Carano, Italy
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidiity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, in action on 8 February 1944, near Carano, Italy. Cpl. Huff volunteered to lead a six-man patrol with the mission of determining the location and strength of an enemy unit which was delivering fire on the exposed right flank of his company. The terrain over which he had to travel consisted of exposed, rolling ground, affording the enemy excellent visibility. As the patrol advanced, its members were subjected to small-arms and machine-gun fire and a concentration of mortar fire, shells bursting within 5 to 10 yards of them and bullets striking the ground at their feet. Moving ahead of his patrol, Cpl. Huff drew fire from three enemy machine guns and a 20-mm weapon. Realizing the danger confronting his patrol, he advanced alone under deadly fire through a minefield and arrived at a point within 75 yards of the nearest machine-gun position. Under direct fire from the rear machine gun, he crawled the remaining 75 yards to the closest emplacement, killed the crew with his submachine gun, and destroyed the gun. During this act he fired from a kneeling position which drew fire from other positions, enabling him to estimate correctly the strength and location of the enemy. Still under concentrated fire, he returned to his patrol and led his men to safety. As a result of the information he gained, a patrol in strength sent out that afternoon, one group under the leadership of Cpl. Huff, succeeded in routing an enemy company of 125 men, killing 27 Germans, and capturing 21 others, with a loss of only three patrol members. Cpl. Huff's intrepid leadership and daring combat skill reflect the finest traditions of the American infantryman.
Medal of Honor Recipient Paul B. Huff
Medal of Honor Recipient Paul B. Huff
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Cleveland, Bradley County, Tennessee
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: June 8, 1944
    Rome, Italy, presented by Lt. Gen. Mark W. Clark
  • Born: June 23, 1918, Cleveland, Bradley County, TN, United States
  • Died: September 21, 1994, Clarksville, TN, United States
  • Buried: Hillcrest Cemetery (MH) , Cleveland, TN, United States

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