Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company 1, 120th Infantry,
30th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Petit-Coo, Belgium, 23 December
Entered service at: Madison, Ala.
Birth: Hobbes Island, lowa.
No.: 73, 30 August 1945-.
Citation: He voluntarily attacked a formidable
enemy strong point in Petit-Coo, Belgium, on 23 December, 1944, when his
company was pinned down by extremely heavy automatic and small-arms fire
coming from a house 200 yards to the front. Mortar and tank artillery shells
pounded the unit, when S/Sgt. Bolden and a comrade, on their own initiative,
moved forward into a hail of bullets to eliminate the ever-increasing fire
from the German position. Crawling ahead to close with what they knew was
a powerfully armed, vastly superior force, the pair reached the house and
took up assault positions, S/Sgt. Bolden under a window, his comrade across
the street where he could deliver covering fire. In rapid succession, S/Sgt.
Bolden hurled a fragmentation grenade and a white phosphorous grenade into
the building; and then, fully realizing that he faced tremendous odds,
rushed to the door, threw it open and fired into 35 SS troopers who were
trying to reorganize themselves after the havoc wrought by the grenades.
Twenty Germans died under fire of his submachinegun before he was struck
in the shoulder, chest, and stomach by part of a burst which killed his
comrade across the street. He withdrew from the house, waiting for the
surviving Germans to come out and surrender. When none appeared in the
doorway, he summoned his ebbing strength, overcame the extreme pain he
suffered and boldly walked back into the house, firing as he went. He had
killed the remaining 15 enemy soldiers when his ammunition ran out. S/Sgt.
Bolden's heroic advance against great odds, his fearless assault, and his
magnificent display of courage in reentering the building where he had
been severely wounded cleared the path for his company and insured the
success of its mission.
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)