Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, 15th Infantry, 3d Infantry
Place and date: Near Valmontone, Italy, 2-3 June 1944.
Entered service at:
Birth: Byersville, Ohio.
G.O. No.: 43,
30 May 1945.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk
of life above and beyond the call of duty. On 2-3 June 1944, at 1 a.m.,
Pvt. Christian elected to sacrifice his life in order that his comrades
might extricate themselves from an ambush. Braving massed fire of about
60 riflemen, 3 machineguns, and 3 tanks from positions only 30 yards distant,
he stood erect and signaled to the patrol to withdraw. The whole area was
brightly illuminated by enemy flares. Although his right leg was severed
above the knee by cannon fire, Pvt. Christian advanced on his left knee
and the bloody stump of his right thigh, firing his submachinegun. Despite
excruciating pain, Pvt. Christian continued on his self-assigned mission.
He succeeded in distracting the enemy and enabled his 12 comrades to escape.
He killed 3 enemy soldiers almost at once. Leaving a trail of blood behind
him, he made his way forward 20 yards, halted at a point within 10 yards
of the enemy, and despite intense fire killed a machine-pistol man. Reloading
his weapon, he fired directly into the enemy position. The enemy appeared
enraged at the success of his ruse, concentrated 20-mm. machinegun, machine-pistol
and rifle fire on him, yet he refused to seek cover. Maintaining his erect
position, Pvt. Christian fired his weapon to the very last. Just as he
emptied his submachinegun, the enemy bullets found their mark and Pvt.
Christian slumped forward dead. The courage and spirit of self-sacrifice
displayed by this soldier were an inspiration to his comrades and are in
keeping with the highest traditions of the armed forces.
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)