Rank and organization:   Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company L, 318th
Infantry, 80th Infantry Division.
Place and date:   Near Neiderzerf, Germany,
14 March 1945.
Entered service at:   Milford, Ind.
Birth:   Milford, Ind.
No.: 18, 13 February 1946.
Citation:   He was serving as a rifle platoon
leader when his company began an assault on a wooded ridge northeast of
the village of Neiderzerf, Germany, early on 13 March 1945. A short distance
up the side of the hill, 2d Lt. Michael, at the head of his platoon, heard
the click of an enemy machinegun bolt. Quietly halting the company, he
silently moved off into the woods and discovered 2 enemy machineguns and
crews. Executing a sudden charge, he completely surprised the enemy and
captured the guns and crews. At daybreak, enemy voices were heard in the
thick woods ahead. Leading his platoon in a flanking movement, they charged
the enemy with hand grenades and, after a bitter fight, captured 25 members
of an SS mountain division, 3 artillery pieces, and 20 horses. While his
company was establishing its position, 2d Lt. Michael made 2 personal reconnaissance
missions of the wood on his left flank. On his first mission he killed
2, wounded 4, and captured 6 enemy soldiers single-handedly. On the second
mission he captured 7 prisoners. During the afternoon he led his platoon
on a frontal assault of a line of enemy pillboxes, successfully capturing
the objective, killing 10 and capturing 30 prisoners. The following morning
the company was subjected to sniper fire and 2d Lt. Michael, in an attempt
to find the hidden sniper, was shot and killed. The inspiring leadership
and heroic aggressiveness displayed by 2d Lt. Michael upheld the highest
traditions of the military service.
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)