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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

Richard Edward Kraus

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    8th Amphibious Tractor Battalion,
    Fleet Marine Force
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: October 5, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Peleliu Island, Palau Islands
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 8th Amphibious Tractor Battalion, Fleet Marine Force, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu, Palau Islands on 5 October 1944. Unhesitatingly volunteering for the extremely hazardous mission of evacuating a wounded comrade from the front lines, Pfc. Kraus and three companions courageously made their way forward and successfully penetrated the lines for some distance before the enemy opened with an intense, devastating barrage of hand grenades which forced the stretcher party to take cover and subsequently abandon the mission. While returning to the rear, they observed two men approaching who appeared to be marines and immediately demanded the password. When, instead of answering, one of the two Japanese threw a hand grenade into the midst of the group, Pfc. Kraus heroically flung himself upon the grenade and, covering it with his body, absorbed the full impact of the explosion and was instantly killed. By his prompt action and great personal valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved the lives of his three companions, and his loyal spirit of self-sacrifice reflects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his comrades.
Medal of Honor Recipient Richard E. Kraus
Medal of Honor Recipient Richard E. Kraus
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Minnesota
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: November 24, 1925, Chicago, Cook County, IL, United States
  • Died: October 5, 1944, Peleliu Island, Palau Islands
  • Buried: Fort Snelling National Cemetery (MH) (DS-61A), Minneapolis, MN, United States

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