Rank and organization:   Private, U.S. Army, Company G, 350th Infantry,
3d Infantry Division.
Place and date:   Near St. Jacques, France, 30 October
Entered service at:   Strunk, Ky.
Birth:   Strunk, Ky.
G.O. No.: 30,
14 April 1945.
Citation:   For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk
of life above and beyond the call of duty near St. Jacques, France. At
11:30 a.m. on 30 October 1944, after his company had lost 55 out of 88
men in an attack on an entrenched. full-strength German company of elite
mountain troops, Pvt. Ross placed his light machinegun 10 yards in advance
of the foremost supporting riflemen in order to absorb the initial impact
of an enemy counterattack. With machinegun and small-arms fire striking
the earth near him, he fired with deadly effect on the assaulting force
and repelled it. Despite the hail of automatic fire and the explosion of
rifle grenades within a stone's throw of his position, he continued to
man his machinegun alone, holding off 6 more German attacks. When the eighth
assault was launched, most of his supporting riflemen were out of ammunition.
They took positions in echelon behind Pvt. Ross and crawled up, during
the attack, to extract a few rounds of ammunition from his machinegun ammunition
belt. Pvt. Ross fought on virtually without assistance and, despite the
fact that enemy grenadiers crawled to within 4 yards of his position in
an effort to kill him with handgrenades, he again directed accurate and
deadly fire on the hostile force and hurled it back. After expending his
last rounds, Pvt. Ross was advised to withdraw to the company command post,
together with 8 surviving riflemen, but, as more ammunition was expected,
he declined to do so. The Germans launched their last all-out attack, converging
their fire on Pvt. Ross in a desperate attempt to destroy the machinegun
which stood between them and a decisive breakthrough. As his supporting
riflemen fixed bayonets for a last-ditch stand, fresh ammunition arrived
and was brought to Pvt. Ross just as the advance assault elements were
about to swarm over his position. He opened murderous fire on the oncoming
enemy; killed 40 and wounded 10 of the attacking force; broke the assault
single-handedly, and forced the Germans to withdraw. Having killed or wounded
at least 58 Germans in more than 5 hours of continuous combat and saved
the remnants of his company from destruction, Pvt. Ross remained at his
post that night and the following day for a total of 36 hours. His actions
throughout this engagement were an inspiration to his comrades and maintained
the high 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)