Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company E, 413th
Infantry, 104th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Mark River, Holland,
2 November 1944.
Entered service at: Huntsville, Ala.
G.O. No.: 74, 1 September 1945.
Citation: As leader of the weapons
platoon of Company E, 413th Infantry, on the night of 2 November 1944,
he fought gallantly in a pitched battle which followed the crossing of
the Mark River in Holland. When 2 machineguns pinned down his company,
he tried to eliminate, with mortar fire, their grazing fire which was inflicting
serious casualties and preventing the company's advance from an area rocked
by artillery shelling. In the moonlight it was impossible for him to locate
accurately the enemy's camouflaged positions; but he continued to direct
fire until wounded severely in the legs and rendered unconscious by a German
shell. When he recovered consciousness he instructed his unit and then
crawled to the forward rifle platoon positions. Taking a two-man bazooka
team on his voluntary mission, he advanced chest deep in chilling water
along a canal toward 1 enemy machinegun. While the bazooka team covered
him, he approached alone to within 15 yards of the hostile emplacement
in a house. He charged the remaining distance and killed the 2 gunners
with hand grenades. Returning to his men he led them through intense fire
over open ground to assault the second German machinegun. An enemy sniper
who tried to block the way was dispatched, and the trio pressed on. When
discovered by the machinegun crew and subjected to direct fire, 1st Lt.
Bolton killed 1 of the 3 gunners with carbine fire, and his 2 comrades
shot the others. Continuing to disregard his wounds, he led the bazooka
team toward an 88-mm. artillery piece which was having telling effect on
the American ranks, and approached once more through icy canal water until
he could dimly make out the gun's silhouette. Under his fire direction,
the two soldiers knocked out the enemy weapon with rockets. On the way
back to his own lines he was again wounded. To prevent his men being longer
subjected to deadly fire, he refused aid and ordered them back to safety,
painfully crawling after them until he reached his lines, where he collapsed.
1st Lt. Bolton's heroic assaults in the face of vicious fire, his inspiring
leadership, and continued aggressiveness even through suffering from serious
wounds, contributed in large measure to overcoming strong enemy resistance
and made it possible for his battalion to reach its objective.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)