Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company E, 39th
Infantry, 9th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Kalterherberg, Germany,
22 December 1944.
Entered service at: Watervliet, N.Y.
Birth: 19 May 1918,
G.O. No.: 73, 30 August, 1945.
Citation: He was with the
1st Platoon holding an important road junction on high ground near Kalterherberg,
Germany, on 22 December 1944. In the early morning hours, the enemy after
laying down an intense artillery and mortar barrage, followed through with
an all-out attack that threatened to overwhelm the position. T/Sgt. Dalessondro,
seeing that his men were becoming disorganized, braved the intense fire
to move among them with words of encouragement. Advancing to a fully exposed
observation post, he adjusted mortar fire upon the attackers, meanwhile
firing upon them with his rifle and encouraging his men in halting and
repulsing the attack. Later in the day the enemy launched a second determined
attack. Once again, T/Sgt. Dalessondro, in the face of imminent death,
rushed to his forward position and immediately called for mortar fire.
After exhausting his rifle ammunition, he crawled 30 yards over exposed
ground to secure a light machinegun, returned to his position, and fired
upon the enemy at almost pointblank range until the gun jammed. He managed
to get the gun to fire 1 more burst, which used up his last round, but
with these bullets he killed 4 German soldiers who were on the verge of
murdering an aid man and 2 wounded soldiers in a nearby foxhole. When the
enemy had almost surrounded him, he remained alone, steadfastly facing
almost certain death or capture, hurling grenades and calling for mortar
fire closer and closer to his outpost as he covered the withdrawal of his
platoon to a second line of defense. As the German hordes swarmed about
him, he was last heard calling for a barrage, saying, "OK, mortars, let
me have it--right in this position!" The gallantry and intrepidity shown
by T/Sgt. Dalessondro against an overwhelming enemy attack saved his company
from complete rout.
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)