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Wednesday, October 05, 2011
TFH 10/5: Private First Class Richard Edward Kraus, USMCR
From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II:
*KRAUS, RICHARD EDWARD
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Born: 24 November 1925, Chicago, Ill. Accredited to: Minnesota. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 8th Amphibious Tractor Battalion, Fleet Marine Force, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu, Palau Islands, on 5 October 1944. Unhesitatingly volunteering for the extremely hazardous mission of evacuating a wounded comrade from the front lines, Pfc. Kraus and 3 companions courageously made their way forward and successfully penetrated the lines for some distance before the enemy opened with an intense, devastating barrage of hand grenades which forced the stretcher party to take cover and subsequently abandon the mission. While returning to the rear, they observed 2 men approaching who appeared to be marines and immediately demanded the password. When, instead of answering, 1 of the 2 Japanese threw a hand grenade into the midst of the group, Pfc. Kraus heroically flung himself upon the grenade and, covering it with his body, absorbed the full impact of the explosion and was instantly killed. By his prompt action and great personal valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved the lives of his 3 companions, and his loyal spirit of self-sacrifice reflects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his comrades.
Richard Kraus, all of us who cherish liberty salute and honor your courage and sacrifice for the freedom of man. October 5, 1944 was your finest hour!