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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Turney White Leonard

  • Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company C,
    893d Tank Destroyer Battalion
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: November 4 - 6, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Kommerscheidt, Germany
He displayed extraordinary heroism while commanding a platoon of mobile weapons at Kommerscheidt, Germany, on 4, 5, and 6 November 1944. During the fierce three-day engagement, he repeatedly braved overwhelming enemy fire in advance of his platoon to direct the fire of his tank destroyer from exposed, dismounted positions. He went on lone reconnaissance missions to discover what opposition his men faced, and on one occasion, when fired upon by a hostile machine gun, advanced alone and eliminated the enemy emplacement with a hand grenade. When a strong German attack threatened to overrun friendly positions, he moved through withering artillery, mortar, and small-arms fire, reorganized confused infantry units whose leaders had become casualties, and exhorted them to hold firm. Although wounded early in battle, he continued to direct fire from his advanced position until he was disabled by a high-explosive shell which shattered his arm, forcing him to withdraw. He was last seen at a medical aid station which was subsequently captured by the enemy. By his superb courage, inspiring leadership, and indomitable fighting spirit, 1st Lt. Leonard enabled our forces to hold off the enemy attack and was personally responsible for the direction of fire which destroyed six German tanks.
Medal of Honor Recipient Turney W. Leonard
Medal of Honor Recipient Turney W. Leonard
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Dallas, Collin County, Texas
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: June 18, 1921, Dallas, Collin County, TX, United States
  • Died: November 7, 1944, Germany
  • Buried: Grove Hill Memorial Park (MH) (158-32-8) , Dallas, TX, United States
  • Location of Medal: Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX ; Memorial Student Center, Texas A&M University (duplicate Medal), College Station, TX

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