"[I]f we fail, then the whole world,…all that we have known and cared for…will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that…men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'”
In November 1944, the 90th Infantry Division - known as the "Tough 'Ombres" since they were formerly called the "Texas-Oklahoma" division - fought in Europe as part of the XX Corps under General George S. Patton'sThird Army.
On this day, November 12, 1944, two 90th Division soldiers exemplified what it means to go "above and beyond the call of duty" and received our Nation's highest honor.
Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army,
Company H, 359th Infantry, 90th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Kerling,
France, 12 November 1944. Entered service at: Texas City, Tex. Birth:
Bainbridge, Ohio. G.O. No.: 77, 10 September 1945. Citation: He commanded a
platoon that bore the brunt of a desperate enemy counterattack near Korling,
France, before dawn on 12 November 1944. When German tanks and self-propelled
guns penetrated his left flank and overwhelming infantry forces threatened to
overrun the 1 remaining machinegun in that section, he ran 400 yards through
woods churned by artillery and mortar concentrations to strengthen the defense.
With the 1 remaining gunner, he directed furious fire into the advancing hordes
until they swarmed close to the position. He left the gun, boldly charged the
attackers and, after a 15-minute exchange of hand grenades, forced them to
withdraw leaving 30 dead behind. He re-crossed the fire-swept terrain to his
then threatened right flank, exhorted his men and directed murderous fire from
the single machinegun at that position. There, in the light of bursting mortar
shells, he again closed with the enemy in a hand grenade duel and, after a
fierce 30-minute battle, forced the Germans to withdraw leaving another 20 dead.
The gallantry and intrepidity of T/Sgt. Everhart in rallying his men and
refusing to fall back in the face of terrible odds were highly instrumental in
repelling the fanatical enemy counterattack directed at the American bridgehead
across the Moselle River.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S.
Army, Company L, 357th Infantry, 90th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near
Thionville, France, 12 November 1944. Entered service at: Howard, Pa. Birth:
Marsh Creek, Pa. G.O. No.: 89, 19 October 1945. Citation: He displayed
conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty in combat on 12 November
1944, near Thionville, France. During an attack on strong hostile forces
entrenched on a hill he fearlessly ran up the steep approach toward his
objective and set up his machinegun 20 yards from the enemy. Realizing it would
be necessary to attract full attention of the dug-in Germans while his company
crossed an open area and flanked the enemy, he picked up his gun, charged
through withering machinegun and rifle fire to the very edge of the emplacement,
and there killed 12 German soldiers with devastating close-range fire. He took
up a position behind a log and engaged the hostile infantry from the flank in an
heroic attempt to distract their attention while his comrades attained their
objective at the crest of the hill. He was killed by the very heavy
concentration of return fire; but his fearless assault enabled his company to
sweep the hill with minimum of casualties, killing or capturing every enemy
soldier on it. Pfc. Sayers' indomitable fighting spirit, aggressiveness, and
supreme devotion to duty live on as an example of the highest traditions of the
Our Nation is forever in the debt of our fighting men and women, particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and those who have exhibited the utmost of valor.