SSG GUS KEFURT
Co. K, 15th Infantry
3d Infantry Division
23-24 December 1944.
Early in the attack near Bennwihr France, SSG Kefurt jumped through an opening in a wall to be confronted by about 15 Germans. He opened fire, killing 10 and capturing the others.
Kefurt went on to brave withering small arms fire to get in position to effectively adjusted artillery fire on an enemy tank bearing down on other Americans.
When night fell he maintained a 3-man outpost in the center of the town surrounded by German positions and successfully fought off several hostile patrols attempting to penetrate his lines.
Casualties required Kefurt to assume command of his Platoon the following morning when led his men in fierce hand-to-hand fighting. The appearance of an enemy Tank should have stopped the young American and his men, but Kefurt, using a barrage of rifle grenades, forced the tanks surrender.
He then continued his attack from house to house against heavy machinegun and rifle fire. Suffering heavy casualties in their exposed position the men remained at their post and in the fight because SSG Kefurt’s personal example of bravery, determination and leadership.
He constantly exposed himself to fire by going from man to man to direct fire. He killed approximately 15 of the enemy at close range. Although severely wounded in the leg he refused first aid and immediately resumed fighting. When the forces to his rear were pushed back 3 hours later, he refused to be evacuated. He lead his platoon in several counterattacks and moved painfully about under intense small arms and mortar fire, stiffening the resistance of his platoon by encouraging individual men and by his own fire until he was killed.
As a result of S/Sgt. Kefurt’s gallantry, and huge balls, the position was maintained.