Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 601st Tank
Place and date: Near Bruyeres, France, 25 October
Entered service at: Anna, Ill.
Birth: 28 June 1920, West Frankfurt,
G.O. No.: 75, 5 September 1945.
Citation: He commanded a tank destroyer
near Bruyeres, France, on 25 October 1944. Our infantry occupied a position
on a wooded hill when, at dusk, an enemy Mark IV tank and a company of
infantry attacked, threatening to overrun the American position and capture
a command post 400 yards to the rear. S/Sgt. Choate's tank destroyer, the
only weapon available to oppose the German armor, was set afire by 2 hits.
Ordering his men to abandon the destroyer, S/Sgt. Choate reached comparative
safety. He returned to the burning destroyer to search for comrades possibly
trapped in the vehicle risking instant death in an explosion which was
imminent and braving enemy fire which ripped his jacket and tore the helmet
from his head. Completing the search and seeing the tank and its supporting
infantry overrunning our infantry in their shallow foxholes, he secured
a bazooka and ran after the tank, dodging from tree to tree and passing
through the enemy's loose skirmish line. He fired a rocket from a distance
of 20 yards, immobilizing the tank but leaving it able to spray the area
with cannon and machinegun fire. Running back to our infantry through vicious
fire, he secured another rocket, and, advancing against a hail of machinegun
and small-arms fire reached a position 10 yards from the tank. His second
shot shattered the turret. With his pistol he killed 2 of the crew as they
emerged from the tank; and then running to the crippled Mark IV while enemy
infantry sniped at him, he dropped a grenade inside the tank and completed
its destruction. With their armor gone, the enemy infantry became disorganized
and was driven back. S/Sgt. Choate's great daring in assaulting an enemy
tank single-handed, his determination to follow the vehicle after it had
passed his position, and his skill and crushing thoroughness in the attack
prevented the enemy from capturing a battalion command post and turned
a probable defeat into a tactical success.
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)