Honor Roll - 275th Infantry Citations

Sample Citations

Charlie Pence, B/275, Distinguished Service Cross For an account of Pence's action click here!

Demmer G. Welch, A/275, Silver Star, Posthumous Award (Source: GO#26, 70th Infantry Division, dated 29 March, 1945)

James C. Holt, D/275, Silver Star and Oak Leaf Cluster (Source: GO#26, 70th Infantry Division, dated 29 March, 1945)

Private First Class (Then Private) William A. Trotter, 37 646 188, Infantry, Company F, 15th Infantry Regiment, (then Company B, 275th Infantry Regiment) Bronze Star. On 21 March 1945 at 1600 hours, in the vicinity of Saarbrucken, Germany, when an counterattacking enemy force threatened to overrun his Company's position, Private Trotter rushed forward, alone, in the face of intense machine gun and small arms fire to halt the German drive. Firing short bursts from his automatic rifle, Private Trotter advanced to within fifteen yards of the enemy group, killing four Germans and capturing eight. This action enabled his Company to regroup and throw back the enemy attack and subsequently establish adequate defensive position, Residence: Ainsworth, Iowa. (Source: GO#387, Third Infantry Division, late 1945.)

John W. Mercy, 39 133 025, First Sergeant, Company C/275, near Stiftswald, France, on 22 February 1945. Bronze Star. To secure the left flank of the company's objective and establish contact with another unit, First Sergeant Mercy led elements of his company in attack. Constantly cut in front of his troops, exposed to enemy small arms, mortar and artillery fire, he inspired them to move forward and complete their mission. Against newly established in insecure lines, two enemy tanks counterattacked. First Sergeant Mercy, commanding the company, crept from cover to direct fire upon the tanks, inspiring his men to hold their positions and beat off the attack. His intrepid actions secured the company's positions and discouraged further enemy attacks. Entered military service from Hollister, California. (Source: General Order Number 101, Hqs., 70th Infantry Division, dated 15 August 1945.)

Elmer T Peterson, K/275, Bronze Star, Posthumous (Source: GO#101, 70th Division, dated 15 August 1945)

John E. Sweeny, A/275, Bronze Star, Posthumous (Source: GO#101, 70th Division, dated 15 August 1945)

Charles F Stender, Bronze Star, 35 087 355, Sergeant, Infantry, Company I, 275th Infantry. Entered military service from Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania and...Donald M Vorce, Bronze Star, 36 844 761, Private First Class, Company I, 275th Infantry. Entered military service from Eau Claire, Wisconsin...For heroic achievement in action on 18 February 1945 at Etzling, France. Preparatory to an attack, these soldiers moved forward to determine the location of enemy strong points. Reaching a vantage point, the patrol discovered a group of enemy soldiers and, in the fierce engagement that followed, four enemy were killed and six others routed. By the elimination of this strong point, which included two enemy machine guns, the main contribution was made to the successful attack on the village. (Source: GO#19, 70th Infantry Division, dated 17 March 1945.)

Secondary Sources

Ted Heck, K/275, Silver Star & Bronze Star  He led his platoon down the main street of Phillipsbourg, firing a light machine gun from the hip.

Joseph K. Donahue, I/275, Silver Star; For gallantry in action at Spicheren. He was also awarded the British Military Medal by Field Marshall Sir Bernard L. Montgomery.

Source Unknown

The following citations came to me from Doug Toler, son of Dick Toler, F/275, (deceased). They were in his dad's possession and have no GO# nor type of award given.

T/Sgt Kenneth L. Stryker, 32991139, Co "F" 275th Infantry Regiment, and 6 members of his platoon were on a reconnaissance patrol near Ruhlingen, France, at about 2300 hours, 29 January 1945. While proceeding along the side of a draw his patrol encountered unexpected fire from 2 enemy machine guns and several enemy riflemen. Faced with insurmountable odds, Sgt Stryker ordered a withdrawal of his patrol. Several members the patrol wore receiving their baptism of fire, forcing Sgt Stryker upright and expose himself daringly to withering fire, to direct the withdrawal of his men. Upon his own arrival in the safety area Stryker learned that one man, Pfc Henry Abramowicz, still lay in the draw at the mercy of the enemy and unable to move due to being hit in the back. After calling for mortar fire on the area occupied by the Germans he immediately set out alone to rescue the wounded man. Availing himself of the meager cover and concealment he reached the side of Abramowicz. Exhibiting super-human effort Sgt. Stryker crawled 100 yards to safety over open ground with a wounded man on his back while a vicious enemy blazed away at him. Although physically exhausted at this time he direct­ed and assisted  in carrying Abramowicz by litter to an ambulance, over several hundred yards of rough and difficult terrain. This demonstration of conspicuous heroism and unwavering fortitude inspired his troops to an inestimable degree and exemplifies the noblest qualities and honored ideals of our Armed Forces. 

On the night of 2 February 1945, while advancing down a valley toward the enemy lines to set up an outpost near Grossblittersdorf, France, S/Sgt Chester A. Smith, 36762730, Co. "F" 275th Infantry Reg. with seven members of his squad suddenly became pinned down by murderous German machine gun fire. Two members of the patrol, who were in the lead, were seriously wounded by the first burst of enemy fire. Although faced with overwhelming odds Sgt Smith courageously re­fused to abandon his wounded comrades. He organized his patrol quickly  and by attracting attention and enemy fire to himself made possible the withdrawal of the patrol to a vantage point from which they could return effective fire. He then crawled boldly forward to one of the wounded men. Learning that this man had been mortally wounded, Sgt Smith moved unhesitatingly forward  to the side of his assistant squad leader, Sgt Robert O. Jones, who had fallen within 30 yards of the building occupied by the Germans. With grim determination he drug and carried Sgt. Jones,  who had suffered  leg wounds, to safety over 150 yards of exposed terrain while deadly small arms fire pitted the earth around him. His intrepid actions and courageous leadership evidence the finest tradition of our Military Service. 

On the 17th of March 1945  the advance of Co. "F", 275th Infantry Regiment, was stopped by a strong enemy delaying force deployed in an highly strategic position near St. Arnaul, Germany. The Company Commander ordered his first platoon to assault the strong-point and dawn, 18 March, 1945, from  the left side and ordered one squad from the second platoon, under the command of S/Sgt Chester A. Smith, 36762730,  and T/Sgt Kenneth L. Stryker, 32991139, to attack on the right front side. The first platoon met unexpected trouble and could not jump off at the designated time. With full knowledge of the danger involved, Sgt Smith and Sgt Stryker organized their troops into a skirmish line to attack the hillside with no other support. The skirmish line faltered upon first encountering the great fire superiority of the Germans. Sgt Stryker and Sgt Smith continued to move forward in an upright position while bullets from automatic weapons and rifles ricocheted from the rocks at their feet.  Together they killed 3 members of an enemy machine gun nest and began firing from that position. Their sheer courage inspired their squad to follow them in overrunning the other positions, killing 16 Germans and capturing 5, while suffering only 3 casualties. Their prodigious exhibition of combat skill and indomitable fighting spirit instilled into their green troops the confidence of veterans and reflect the highest credit upon themselves and our Armed Forces.

Related
Campaign Credits - Medal Identification - General Orders 
275th Honor Roll