1Sgt LEONARD A. FUNK JR.
Co C, 508th PIR, 82d Airborne
29 January 1945
1Sgt Funk was leading his company on a 15 mile forced march in a driving snowstorm.
The Company prepared to attack through waist-deep snowdrifts, the Officer in Charge was an immediate casualty – and 1Sgt Funk took command of the attack.
Funk rallied his men and organized a Hasty assault in the face of direct artillery and small arms fire.
Under his skillful and courageous leadership, his men attacked 15 houses, cleared them, and took 30 prisoners without suffering a casualty.
The fierce drive quickly overran Holzheim, taking over 80 prisoners.
Only 4 men could be spared to guard this large group of prisoners and an enemy patrol managed to free all 80 and began to attack Funk’s unit from the rear.
Funk was surrounded and ordered to surrender by a German officer who pushed a machine pistol into his stomach. 1Sgt. Funk, slowly and discretely unslung submachine gun from his shoulder and riddled the German officer with lead.
He turned his weapon on the other Germans, and ordered his men to grab the enemy’s weapons.
21 Germans were killed, and the remainder captured. I guess they had never heard of the 82nd Airborne. the old paratrooper fell to cancer in November of 1992.