Wednesday Hero

This post was suggested by SJ

2nd Lt. Walter
92 years old from Long Beach, California
18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division
May 7, 1921 – February 20, 2014
U.S. Army

On February 20 2nd Lt. Walter Ehlers passed away.  2nd Lt. Ehlers was
the last surviving Medal Of Honor recipient from D-Day.

From his MoH citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life
above and beyond the call of duty on 9-10 June 1944, near Goville,
France. S/Sgt. Ehlers, always acting as the spearhead of the attack,
repeatedly led his men against heavily defended enemy strong points
exposing himself to deadly hostile fire whenever the situation
required heroic and courageous leadership. Without waiting for an
order, S/Sgt. Ehlers, far ahead of his men, led his squad against a
strongly defended enemy strong point, personally killing 4 of an enemy
patrol who attacked him en route. Then crawling forward under
withering machinegun fire, he pounced upon the guncrew and put it out
of action. Turning his attention to 2 mortars protected by the
crossfire of 2 machineguns, S/Sgt. Ehlers led his men through this
hail of bullets to kill or put to flight the enemy of the mortar
section, killing 3 men himself. After mopping up the mortar positions,
he again advanced on a machinegun, his progress effectively covered by
his squad. When he was almost on top of the gun he leaped to his feet
and, although greatly outnumbered, he knocked out the position
single-handed. The next day, having advanced deep into enemy
territory, the platoon of which S/Sgt. Ehlers was a member, finding
itself in an untenable position as the enemy brought increased mortar,
machinegun, and small arms fire to bear on it, was ordered to
withdraw. S/Sgt. Ehlers, after his squad had covered the withdrawal of
the remainder of the platoon, stood up and by continuous fire at the
semicircle of enemy placements, diverted the bulk of the heavy hostile
fire on himself, thus permitting the members of his own squad to
withdraw. At this point, though wounded himself, he carried his
wounded automatic rifleman to safety and then returned fearlessly over
the shell-swept field to retrieve the automatic rifle which he was
unable to carry previously. After having his wound treated, he refused
to be evacuated, and returned to lead his squad. The intrepid
leadership, indomitable courage, and fearless aggressiveness displayed
by S/Sgt. Ehlers in the face of overwhelming enemy forces serve as an
inspiration to others.

You can read more about 2nd Lt. Ehlers Here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so
others may get to enjoy freedom.  For that I am proud to call them
Those Who Say That We’re In A Time When
There Are No Heroes, They Just Don’t Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll.  For more
information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on
your site, you can go Here

Christopher Lee (Kawaistiyowa)

If You Can’t Do Something Smart, Do Something Right

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