Rank and organization:   Private, U.S. Army, Company C, 504th Parachute
Infantry, 82d Airborne Division.
Place and date:   Near Oosterhout, Holland,
21 September 1944.
Entered service at:   Cleveland, Ohio.
G.O. No.: 18, 15 March 1945. Citation. For conspicuous gallantry
and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on
21 September 1944, near Oosterhout, Holland. The rifle company in which
Pvt. Towle served as rocket launcher gunner was occupying a defensive position
in the west sector of the recently established Nijmegen bridgehead when
a strong enemy force of approximately 100 infantry supported by 2 tanks
and a half-track formed for a counterattack. With full knowledge of the
disastrous consequences resulting not only to his company but to the entire
bridgehead by an enemy breakthrough, Pvt. Towle immediately and without
orders left his foxhole and moved 200 yards in the face of Intense small-arms
fire to a position on an exposed dike roadbed. From this precarious position
Pvt. Towle fired his rocket launcher at and hit both tanks to his immediate
front. Armored skirting on both tanks prevented penetration by the projectiles,
but both vehicles withdrew slightly damaged. Still under intense fire and
fully exposed to the enemy, Pvt. Towle then engaged a nearby house which
9 Germans had entered and were using as a strongpoint and with 1 round
killed all 9. Hurriedly replenishing his supply of ammunition, Pvt. Towle,
motivated only by his high conception of duty which called for the destruction
of the enemy at any cost, then rushed approximately 125 yards through grazing
enemy fire to an exposed position from which he could engage the enemy
half-track with his rocket launcher. While in a kneeling position preparatory
to firing on the enemy vehicle, Pvt. Towle was mortally wounded by a mortar
shell. By his heroic tenacity, at the price of his life, Pvt. Towle saved
the lives of many of his comrades and was directly instrumental in breaking
up the enemy counterattack.
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)