Sgt John R. McKinney
Co A, 123rd Inf. 33rd Infantry Division
Tayabas Province, Luzon, Philippine Islands
May 11, 1945


Just before Daybreak on May 11, approx. 100 enemy soldiers used the cover of darkness to attack Pvt. McKinny’s position at Dingalan Bay with heavy machinegun fire and a Banzai Charge

Pvt. McKinney was resting a few yards from where the line was breached and woke to the sight of an enemy officer swinging a sword at his head. – This angered the young private.

Although dazed by the stroke, he grabbed a rifle and bludgeoned his attacker to a pulp and Began shooting charging enemy Soldiers as they came through the perimeter.

A crew-served weapon had been overrun when the crew was wounded and forced to evacuate.

In spite of profuse bleeding from his head, McKinney single-handedly attacked the ten enemy soldiers holding the gun emplacement and firing on Mckinney’s unit.

Pvt. Mckinney launched himself into the gun emplacement, shooting  7 of the enemy dead, then being to close range to take time to reload… He bludgeoned the other three to death, using his M-1 like a baseball bat.

The machinegun was damaged beyond use in the fracas, leaving only his rifle, and it was short of ammo.

McKinney stood his ground, pouring fire on the advancing waves of attackers until his ammunition was depleted. Then he again used his carbine like a baseball bat bludgeoning attackers to death until reinforcements could arrive.

By the time help showed up – McKinney had already stopped the assault in his area and had taken complete control of the field.  A body count of 38 enemy dead within hand to hand range, many bludgeoned to death. A mortar crew of two more were a short distance away, both dead with gunshot wounds.

The last line of Sgt, McKinney’s Medal of Honor citation reads:

“By his indomitable spirit, extraordinary fighting ability, and unwavering courage in the face of tremendous odds, Pvt. McKinley saved his company from possible annihilation and set an example of unsurpassed intrepidity”

Sgt JOHN R. McKlNNEY reported to his last formation on April 4, 1997.


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