Medal of Honor Earned while “Wearing a White Robe…Carrying 12 hand grenades”

Jan 08 , 2024

Medal of Honor Earned while “Wearing a White Robe…Carrying 12 hand grenades”

Russel Dunham received the Medal of Honor for his actions on January 8, 1945. "TSgt. Dunham singlehandedly assaulted 3 enemy machine guns. He was wearing a white robe made of a mattress cover, carrying 12 carbine magazines & 12 hand grenades. TSgt. Dunham advanced up a snow-covered hill under fire from 2 machine guns & supporting riflemen. His platoon 35 yards behind him, Dunham crawled 75 yards under direct fire toward the emplacement.

As he jumped to his feet 10 yards from the gun & charged forward, machine-gun fire tore through his camouflage robe & a rifle bullet seared a 10-inch gash across his back sending him spinning 15 yards downhill. When he sprang to his feet to renew his one-man assault, a German grenade landed beside him. He kicked it aside, & as it exploded 5 yards away, shot & killed the enemy machine gunner & assistant gunner.

His carbine empty, he jumped into the emplacement and hauled out the third member of the gun crew by the collar.

Although his back wound was causing him excruciating pain and blood was seeping through his white coat, TSgt. Dunham proceeded 50 yards through automatic & rifle fire to attack the second machine gun. 25 yards from the emplacement he hurled two grenades, destroying the gun & its crew; then fired down into the supporting foxholes with his carbine.

Although his coat was so thoroughly blood-soaked that he was an obvious target against the white landscape, TSgt.

Dunham again advanced ahead of his platoon in an assault on enemy positions farther up the hill. Coming under machine-gun fire from 65 yards to his front, while rifle grenades exploded 10 yards from his position, he hit the ground & crawled forward. At 15 yards' range, he jumped to his feet, staggered a few paces toward the machine-gun emplacement, & killed the crew with grenades. An enemy rifleman fired at point-blank range but missed him.

After killing the rifleman, TSgt. Dunham drove others from their foxholes with grenades & carbine fire. Killing 9 enemies, wounding 7, and capturing 2, firing 175 rounds of carbine ammunition, & expending 11 grenades, TSgt. Dunham, despite a painful wound, spearheaded a spectacular and successful diversionary attack."


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