Medal Of Honor:Staff Sergeant William G. Windrich
Carl | March 12, 2013
(Part of a continuing series of articles spotlighting United States Marines who have been recipients of America’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor.)
From the Presidential Citation:
STAFF SERGEANT WILLIAM G. WINDRICH
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Platoon Sergeant of Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of Yudam-ni, Korea, the night of 1 December 1950.
Promptly organizing a squad of men when the enemy launched a sudden, vicious counterattack against the forward elements of his company’s position, rendering it untenable, Staff Sergeant Windrich, armed with a carbine, spearheaded the assault to the top of the knoll immediately confronting the overwhelming force and, under shattering hostile automatic weapons, mortar and grenade fire, directed effective fire to hold back the attackers and cover the withdrawal of our troops to commanding ground.
With seven of his men struck down during the furious action and he, himself, wounded in the head by a bursting grenade, he made his way to his company’s position and, organizing a small group of volunteers, returned with them to evacuate the wounded and dying form the frozen hillside, staunchly refusing medical attention himself. Immediately redeploying the remainder of his troops, Staff Sergeant Windrich placed them on the left flank of the defensive sector before the enemy again attacked in force.
Wounded in the leg during the bitter fight that followed, he bravely fought on with his men, shouting words of encouragement and directing their fire until the attack was repelled. Refusing evacuation although unable to stand, he still continued to direct his platoon in setting up defensive positions until, weakened by the bitter cold, excessive loss of blood and severe pain, he lapsed into unconsciousness and died.
His valiant leadership, fortitude and courageous fighting spirit against tremendous odds served to inspire others to heroic endeavor in holding the objective and reflect the highest credit upon Staff Sergeant Windrich and the United States Naval Service.
He gallantly gave his life for his country.
HARRY S. TRUMAN
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