PRUSSMAN, ERNEST W. - Medal of Honor Recipient


Rank and organization:   Private First Class, U.S. Army, 13th Infantry, 8th Infantry Division.

Place and date:   Near Les Coates, Brittany, France, 8 September 1944.

Entered service at:   Brighton, Mass.

Birth:   Baltimore, Md.

G.O. No.: 31, 17 April 1945.

Citation:   For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 8 September 1944, near Les Coates, Brittany, France. When the advance of the flank companies of 2 battalions was halted by intense enemy mortar, machinegun, and sniper fire from a fortified position on his left, Pfc. Prussman maneuvered his squad to assault the enemy fortifications. Hurdling a hedgerow, he came upon 2 enemy riflemen whom he disarmed. After leading his squad across an open field to the next hedgerow, he advanced to a machinegun position, destroyed the gun, captured its crew and 2 riflemen. Again advancing ahead of his squad in the assault, he was mortally wounded by an enemy rifleman, but as he fell to the ground he threw a handgrenade, killing his opponent. His superb leadership and heroic action at the cost of his life so demoralized the enemy that resistance at this point collapsed, permitting the 2 battalions to continue their advance.

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)