Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 398th
Infantry, 100th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Untergriesheim,
Germany, 7 April 1945.
Entered service at: Duluth, Minn.
G.O. No.: 4, 9 January 1946.
Citation: He was pinned down with other
members of his company during an attack against strong enemy positions
in the vicinity of Untergriesheim, Germany. Heavy artillery, mortar, and
machinegun fire made any move hazardous when he stood up, shouted to the
company to follow, and ran forward in the wake of a supporting tank, firing
his machine pistol. Inspired by his example, his comrades advanced in the
face of savage enemy fire. When his weapon was struck by shrapnel and rendered
useless, he climbed to the deck of a friendly tank, manned an exposed machinegun
on the turret of the vehicle, and, while bullets rattled about him, fired
at an enemy emplacement with such devastating accuracy that he killed or
wounded at least 10 hostile soldiers and destroyed their machinegun. Maintaining
his extremely dangerous post as the tank forged ahead, he blasted 3 more
positions, destroyed another machinegun emplacement and silenced all resistance
in his area, killing at least 3 and wounding an undetermined number of
riflemen as they fled. His machinegun eventually jammed; so he secured
a submachinegun from the tank crew to continue his attack on foot. When
our armored forces exhausted their ammunition and the order to withdraw
was given, he remained behind to help a seriously wounded comrade over
several hundred yards of open terrain rocked by an intense enemy artillery
and mortar barrage. By his intrepidity and inspiring courage Pfc. Colallilo
gave tremendous impetus to his company's attack, killed or wounded 25 of
the enemy in bitter fighting, and assisted a wounded soldier in reaching
the American lines at great risk of his own life.
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)