Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Robert Dale Maxwell

  • Rank: Technician Fifth Grade
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Wire Section, Communications Platoon, Headquarters Company, 3d Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment,
    3d Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 7, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Besancon, France

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 7 September 1944, near Besancon, France. Technician 5th Grade Maxwell and three other soldiers, armed only with .45-caliber automatic pistols, defended the battalion observation post against an overwhelming onslaught by enemy infantrymen in approximately platoon strength, supported by 20-mm flak and machine-gun fire, who had infiltrated through the battalion's forward companies and were attacking the observation post with machine-gun, machine pistol, and grenade fire at ranges as close as 10 yards. Despite a hail of fire from automatic weapons and grenade launchers, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell aggressively fought off advancing enemy elements and, by his calmness, tenacity, and fortitude, inspired his fellows to continue the unequal struggle. When an enemy hand grenade was thrown in the midst of his squad, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell unhesitatingly hurled himself squarely upon it, using his blanket and his unprotected body to absorb the full force of the explosion. This act of instantaneous heroism permanently maimed Technican 5th Grade Maxwell, but saved the lives of his comrades in arms and facilitated maintenance of vital military communications during the temporary withdrawal of the battalion's forward headquarters.

Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Creswell, Larimer County, Colorado
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: May 12, 1945

    Denver, Colorado, Civic Center, presented by Maj. Gen. C. H. Danielson

  • Born: October 26, 1920, Boise, Ada County, ID, United States
  • Died: May 11, 2019, Bend, OR, United States
  • Buried: Terrebone Pioneer Cemetery, Terrebonne, OR, United States
  • Location of Medal: Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Mt. Pleasant, SC

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