Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Robert George Cole

  • Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    3d Battalion, 502d Parachute Infantry Regiment,
    101st Airborne Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: June 11, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Carentan, France
For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty on 11 June 1944, in France. Lt. Col. Cole was personally leading his battalion in forcing the last four bridges on the road to Carentan when his entire unit was suddenly pinned down to the ground by intense and withering enemy rifle, machine-gun, mortar, and artillery fire placed upon them from well-prepared and heavily fortified positions within 150 yards of the foremost elements. After the devastating and unceasing enemy fire had for over one hour prevented any move and inflicted numerous casualties, Lt. Col. Cole, observing this almost hopeless situation, courageously issued orders to assault the enemy positions with fixed bayonets. With utter disregard for his own safety and completely ignoring the enemy fire, he rose to his feet in front of his battalion and with drawn pistol shouted to his men to follow him in the assault. Catching up a fallen man's rifle and bayonet, he charged on and led the remnants of his battalion across the bullet-swept open ground and into the enemy position. His heroic and valiant action in so inspiring his men resulted in the complete establishment of our bridgehead across the Douve River. The cool fearlessness, personal bravery, and outstanding leadership displayed by Lt. Col. Cole reflect great credit upon himself and are worthy of the highest praise in the military service.
Medal of Honor Recipient Robert G. Cole
Medal of Honor Recipient Robert G. Cole
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: October 30, 1944
    Fort Sam Houston, Texas, presented by Major Gen. Jonathan W. Anderson to his mother, Mrs. Clara Hoff Cole
  • Born: March 19, 1915, Fort Sam Houston, Bexar County, TX, United States
  • Died: September 18, 1944, Holland
  • Buried: A.B.M.C. Netherlands Cemetery (MH) (B-15-27), Margraten, Holland

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