Rank and organization:   Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company L, 393d
Infantry, 99th Infantry Division.
Place and date:   Near Krinkelt, Belgium,
16 December 1944.
Entered service at:   Model, Tenn.
Birth:   1 December 1921,
G.O. No.: 6, 11 January 1946.
Citation:   He was painfully wounded
in an artillery barrage that preceded the powerful counteroffensive launched
by the Germans near Krinkelt, Belgium, on the morning of 16 December 1944.
He made his way to an aid station, received treatment, and then refused
to be evacuated, choosing to return to his hard-pressed men instead. The
fury of the enemy's great Western Front offensive swirled about the position
held by T/Sgt. McGarity's small force, but so tenaciously did these men
fight on orders to stand firm at all costs that they could not be dislodged
despite murderous enemy fire and the breakdown of their communications.
During the day the heroic squad leader rescued 1 of his friends who had
been wounded in a forward position, and throughout the night he exhorted
his comrades to repulse the enemy's attempts at infiltration. When morning
came and the Germans attacked with tanks and infantry, he braved heavy
fire to run to an advantageous position where he immobilized the enemy's
lead tank with a round from a rocket launcher. Fire from his squad drove
the attacking infantrymen back, and 3 supporting tanks withdrew. He rescued,
under heavy fire, another wounded American, and then directed devastating
fire on a light cannon which had been brought up by the hostile troops
to clear resistance from the area. When ammunition began to run low, T/Sgt.
McGarity, remembering an old ammunition hole about 100 yards distant in
the general direction of the enemy, braved a concentration of hostile fire
to replenish his unit's supply. By circuitous route the enemy managed to
emplace a machinegun to the rear and flank of the squad's position, cutting
off the only escape route. Unhesitatingly, the gallant soldier took it
upon himself to destroy this menace single-handedly. He left cover, and
while under steady fire from the enemy, killed or wounded all the hostile
gunners with deadly accurate rifle fire and prevented all attempts to reman
the gun. Only when the squad's last round had been fired was the enemy
able to advance and capture the intrepid leader and his men. The extraordinary
bravery and extreme devotion to duty of T/Sgt. McGarity supported a remarkable
delaying action which provided the time necessary for assembling reserves
and forming a line against which the German striking power was shattered.
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)