The Congressional Medal of Honor Society and Medal of Honor Foundation regret to announce the passing of Medal of Honor Recipient Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura.

Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Vernon McGarity

Details
  • Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    3d Squad, 3d Platoon, Company L, 3d Battalion, 393d Infantry,
    99th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: December 16, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Krinkelt, Belgium
Citation

He was painfully wounded in an artillery barrage that preceded the powerful counteroffensive launched by the Germans near Krinkelt, Belgium, on the morning of 16 December 1944. He made his way to an aid station, received treatment, and then refused to be evacuated, choosing to return to his hard-pressed men instead. The fury of the enemy's great Western Front offensive swirled about the position held by T/Sgt. McGarity's small force, but so tenaciously did these men fight on orders to stand firm at all costs that they could not be dislodged despite murderous enemy fire and the breakdown of their communications. During the day the heroic squad leader rescued one of his friends who had been wounded in a forward position, and throughout the night he exhorted his comrades to repulse the enemy's attempts of infiltration. When morning came and the Germans attacked with tanks and infantry, he braved heavy fire to run to an advantageous position where he immobilized the enemy's lead tank with a round from a rocket launcher. Fire from his squad drove the attacking infantrymen back, and three supporting tanks withdrew. He rescued, under heavy fire, another wounded American, and then directed devastating fire on a light cannon which had been brought up by the hostile troops to clear resistance from the area. When ammunition began to run low, T/Sgt. McGarity, remembering an old ammunition hole about 100 yards distant in the general direction of the enemy, braved a concentration of hostile fire to replenish his unit's supply. By circuitous route the enemy managed to emplace a machine gun to the rear and flank of the squad's position, cutting off the only escape route. Unhesitatingly, the gallant soldier took it upon himself to destroy this menace singlehandedly. He left cover, and while under steady fire from the enemy, killed or wounded all the hostile gunners with deadly accurate rifle fire, and prevented all attempts to re-man the gun. Only when his squad's last round had been fired was the enemy able to advance and capture the intrepid leader and his men. The extraordinary bravery and extreme devotion to duty of T/Sgt. McGarity supported a remarkable delaying action which provided the time necessary for assembling reserves and forming a line against which the German striking power was shattered.

Medal of Honor Recipient Vernon McGarity
Medal of Honor Recipient Vernon McGarity
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Model, Stewart County, Tennessee
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: December 18, 1945

    The White House, presented by Pres. Harry S. Truman

  • Born: December 1, 1921, Right, Hardin County, TN, United States
  • Died: May 21, 2013, Memphis, TN, United States
  • Buried: Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery, Memphis, TN, United States
  • Location of Medal: Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Mt. Pleasant, SC
 
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