PVT JOSEPH F. MERRELL
Company I, 15th Inf, 3rd Inf. Div.
Near Lohe, Germany
18 April 1945
When his fellow Soldiers ended up pinned down by brutal enemy machinegun fire Pvt. Merrell made a valiant one-man assault against enemy machinegun emplacements.
Pvt. Merrell ran 100 yards through concentrated fire and engaged 4 German machine gunners at point-blank range, none survived. His rifle smashed by an enemy bullet Merrell was let with 3 hand grenades but no rifle.
There was no hesitation as he zigzagged 200 yards through a hail of bullets to chuck 2 grenades into the first enemy machinegun position then charged in prepared to go hand to hand with his enemy.
Pvt Merrell silenced the German weapons and continued his assault. Thirty yards ahead he engaged another Machinegun crew, killing 4 additional enemy soldiers. Pvt Merrell was severely wounded in the gut, yet he staggered on leaving a trail of his own blood.
The young Soldier threw his last grenade into a third machinegun nest then finished the job in hand to hand battle. A German machine gun bore down on Pvt Merrell inflicting fatal wounds – but not before he accomplished his task.
The last lines of Joseph Merrell’s Medal of Honor citation read as follows:
“In his spectacular 1-man attack Pvt. Merrell killed 6 Germans in the first machinegun emplacement, 7 in the next, and an additional 10 infantrymen who were astride his path to the weapons which would have decimated his unit had he not assumed the burden of the assault and stormed the enemy positions with utter fearlessness, intrepidity of the highest order, and a willingness to sacrifice his own life so that his comrades could go on to victory.”