Long overdue Medal of Honor to be awarded to 1Lt Garlin M. Conner today

 
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Long overdue Medal of Honor to be awarded to 1Lt Garlin M. Conner today

I got an email last week from the White House that the President was awarding the Medal of Honor today, but curiously (to me at least) the press thing didn't actually state who it was.  I had hoped it was the Air Force tactical air controller that some of us have been waiting on from Anaconda, but it was this gentleman, and reading his story one has to wonder why it took so long:

President Donald Trump will posthumously honor a Kentucky soldier with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday for his actions in World War II. 

First Lt. Garlin M. Conner, a native of Albany, Kentucky, and a longtime farmer of the commonwealth soil, has been celebrated as one of the most decorated in soldiers in U.S. history. His honors include the Distinguished Service Cross, four Silver Star medals, a bronze star and three Purple Hearts for injuries suffered in combat...

He went home, back to Kentucky, shortly after the battle. He was given the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest military honor, for his actions. 

The Army account of Conner’s heroism was quoted a letter written by Lt. Col. Lloyd Ramsey less than a month after the battle, USA TODAY reported.

“He has the Distinguished Service Cross which could have been, I believe, a Congressional Medal of Honor, but he was heading home and we wanted to get him what he deserved before he left,” Ramsey wrote.

His heroism is simply remarkable:

Earlier that day, Conner, who had been badly wounded in the hip, sneaked away from a field hospital and made his way back to his unit’s camp. His commanding officer was seeking a volunteer for a suicide mission: Run 400 yards directly toward the enemy while unreeling telephone wire all the way to trenches on the front line. From that point, the volunteer would be able to call in targeting coordinates for mortar fire.

“My God, he held off 600 Germans and six tanks coming right at him,” Chilton marveled. “When they got too close, his commander told him to vacate and instead, he says, ‘Blanket my position.’”

The request meant Conner was calling for artillery strikes as he was being overrun, risking his life in order to draw friendly fire that would take out the enemy, too.

As that first article stated:

He willingly ran out of the forest, out into the open, armed only with a telephone to call in artillery strikes within 15 feet of his boots to fight off the waves. 

"Think about that," Erik Villard, a digital military historian, said at the Pentagon on Monday. "Running forward with nothing more than a telephone in your hand and facing that wave of Germans and calling in that artillery, the heroism is remarkable."

Although it is likely the award will change language somewhat, here was the citation for the initial Distinguished Service Cross:

Name: First Lieutenant Garlin M. Conner
Unit: Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division
Place and date: Near Houssen, France, 24 January 1945
G.O. No.: 47, 10 February 1945

Citation:
For extraordinary heroism in action. On 24 January 1945, at 0800 hours, near Houssen, France, Lieutenant Conner ran four hundred yards through the impact area of an intense concentration of enemy artillery fire to direct friendly artillery on a force of six Mark VI tanks and tank destroyers, followed by six hundred fanatical German infantrymen, which was assaulting in full fury the spearhead position held by his Battalion. Unreeling a spool of telephone wire, Lieutenant Conner disregarded shells which exploded twenty-five yards from him, tearing branches from the trees in his path, and plunged in a shallow ditch thirty yards beyond the position of his foremost company. Although the ditch provided inadequate protection from the heavy automatic fire of the advancing enemy infantry, he calmly directed round after round of artillery on the foe from his prone position, hurling them back to the shelter of a dike. For three hours he remained at his OP [observation post] despite wave after wave of German infantry, which surged forward to within five yards of his position. As the last, all-out German assault swept forward, he ordered his artillery to concentrate on his own position, resolved to die if necessary to halt the enemy. Friendly shells exploded within five yards of him, blanketing his position, wounding his one assistant. Yet Lieutenant Conner continued to direct artillery fire on the assault elements swarming around him until the German attack was shattered and broken. By his exemplary heroism, he killed approximately fifty and wounded an estimated one hundred Germans, disintegrated the powerful enemy assault and prevented heavy casualties in his Battalion. Entered military service from Aaron, Kentucky.
By command of Lieutenant General Patch
Posted in the burner | 8 comments
 
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Comments

Truly a hero's hero...stories such as these not only take too long to be recognized, but are seldom found in school textbooks.

Thank you for your service sir, god bless you and your family and may you Rest In Peace.

I THINK WE ALL WILL AGREE LT. GARLIN M. CONNER HAD A GUARDIAN ANGLE WITH HIM THAT DAY.

I salute Lt. Conner and his action. I do wonder tho, what about his assistant mentioned in the citation?
James Davis
35th Inf. Rcn, 25th Inf. Div.

Thank you Lt Connor, for your service and heroism!

It is outstanding what the civilians have bestowed on a hero. But, Lt. Conner was not looking for glory. Lt. would tell you he was just doing his job to the best of his ability as he was trained. He wasn`t thinking of medals, but of saving his comrades and for that I salute Lt. Conner. I have a tattoo on my right leg that says, U.S. Veteran, half way to heaven and half way from He'll and Lt.. Conner surpasses that.

V

They should have pursued giving him the MOH at that time!!!!

A true AMERICAN HERO of the highest order.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.