THORSON, JOHN F. - Medal of Honor Recipient


Rank and organization:   Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company G, 17th Infantry, 7th Infantry Division.

Place and date:   Dagami, Leyte, Philippine Islands, 28 October 1944.

Entered service at:   Armstrong, lowa

Birth:   Armstrong, lowa.

G.O. No.: 58, 19 July 1945.

Citation:   He was an automatic rifleman on 28 October 1944, in the attack on Dagami Leyte, Philippine Islands. A heavily fortified enemy position consisting of pillboxes and supporting trenches held up the advance of his company. His platoon was ordered to out-flank and neutralize the strongpoint. Voluntarily moving well out in front of his group, Pvt. Thorson came upon an enemy fire trench defended by several hostile riflemen and, disregarding the intense fire directed at him, attacked single-handed He was seriously wounded and fell about 6 yards from the trench. Just as the remaining 20 members of the platoon reached him, 1 of the enemy threw a grenade into their midst. Shouting a warning and making a final effort, Pvt. Thorson rolled onto the grenade and smothered the explosion with his body. He was instantly killed, but his magnificent courage and supreme self-sacrifice prevented the injury and possible death of his comrades, and remain with them as a lasting inspiration.

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)