Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

William Wylie Galt

  • Rank: Captain
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    1st Battalion, 168th Infantry,
    34th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: May 29, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Villa Crocetta, Italy
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Galt, Battalion S-3, at a particularly critical period following two unsuccessful attacks by his battalion, of his own volition went forward and ascertained just how critical the situation was. He volunteered, at the risk of his life, personally to lead the battalion against the objective. When the lone remaining tank destroyer refused to go forward, Capt. Galt jumped on the tank destroyer and ordered it to precede the attack. As the tank destroyer moved forward, followed by a company of riflemen, Capt. Galt manned the .30-caliber machine gun in the turret of the tank destroyer, located and directed fire on an enemy 77-mm antitank gun, and destroyed it. Nearing the enemy positions, Capt. Galt stood fully exposed in the turret, ceaselessly firing his machine gun and tossing hand grenades into the enemy zigzag series of trenches despite the hail of sniper and machine-gun bullets ricocheting off the tank destroyer. As the tank destroyer moved, Capt. Galt so maneuvered it that 40 of the enemy were trapped in one trench. When they refused to surrender, Capt. Galt pressed the trigger of the machine gun and dispatched every one of them. A few minutes later an 88-mm shell struck the tank destroyer and Capt. Galt fell mortally wounded across his machine gun. He had personally killed 40 Germans and wounded many more. Capt. Galt pitted his judgment and superb courage against overwhelming odds, exemplifying the highest measure of devotion to his country and the finest traditions of the U.S. Army.
Medal of Honor Recipient William W. Galt
Medal of Honor Recipient William W. Galt
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Stanford, Judith Basin County, Montana
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: February 19, 1945
    Great Falls, Montana Air Force Base presented by Brig.Gen. Dale V. Gaffney to his widow Mrs. Patricia A. Galt
  • Born: December 19, 1919, Geyser, Judith Basin County, MT, United States
  • Died: May 29, 1944, Italy
  • Buried: Mount Olivet Cemetery (PM) (B-126), Great Falls, MT, United States

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