TSG JOHN D. KELLY
Co. E, 314th Infantry
79th Infantry Division
Fort du Roule, Cherbourg, France
25 June 1944
Cpl. Kelly’s unit was pinned down by heavy enemy machinegun fire emanating from a deeply entrenched enemy strongpoint,
Cpl. Kelly volunteered to attempt to neutralize the strongpoint. Arming himself with a pole charge about 10 feet long and with 15 pounds of explosive affixed, he climbed the slope under a withering blast of machinegun fire and placed the charge at the strongpoint’s base.
The subsequent blast was ineffective, and again, alone and unhesitatingly, Kelly braved the slope to repeat the operation. This second blast destroyed the enemy guns. Cpl. Kelly then climbed the slope a third time to place a pole charge at the strongpoint’s rear entrance. He then he hurled hand grenades inside the position, forcing survivors of the enemy gun crews to surrender.
He was killed in action five months later, after having been promoted to technical sergeant and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Fort du Roule.