Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 27th Infantry,
25th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Lumboy, Luzon, Philippine
Islands, 24 February 1945.
Entered service at: Richard City, Tenn.
7 May 1914, Dunlap, Tenn.
G.O. No.: 77, 10 September 1945.
was a platoon guide in an assault on a camouflaged entrenchment defended
by machineguns, rifles, and mortars. When his men were pinned down by 2
enemy machineguns, he voluntarily advanced under heavy fire to within 20
yards of 1 of the guns and attacked it with a hand grenade. The enemy,
however, threw the grenade back at him before it could explode. Arming
a second grenade, he held it for several seconds of the safe period and
then hurled it into the enemy position, where it exploded instantaneously,
destroying the gun and crew. He then moved toward the remaining gun, throwing
grenades into enemy foxholes as he advanced. Inspired by his actions, 1
squad of his platoon joined him. After he had armed another grenade and
was preparing to throw it into the second machinegun position, 6 enemy
soldiers rushed at him. Knowing he could not dispose of the armed grenade
without injuring his comrades, because of the intermingling in close combat
of the men of his platoon and the enemy in the melee which ensued, he deliberately
covered the grenade with his body and was severely wounded as it exploded.
By his heroic actions, S/Sgt. Cooley not only silenced a machinegun and
so inspired his fellow soldiers that they pressed the attack and destroyed
the remaining enemy emplacements, but also, in complete disregard of his
own safety, accepted certain injury and possible loss of life to avoid
wounding his comrades.
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)