Rank and organization:   First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company E, 398th
Infantry, 100th Infantry Division.
Place and date:   Near St. Pravel, France,
23 November 1944.
Entered service at:   Johnstown, Pa.
Birth:   8 June 1916,
G.O. No.: 97, 1 November 1945. citation. 1st Lt. Edward
A. Silk commanded the weapons platoon of Company E, 398th Infantry, on
23 November 1944, when the end battalion was assigned the mission of seizing
high ground overlooking Moyenmoutier France, prior to an attack on the
city itself. His company jumped off in the lead at dawn and by noon had
reached the edge of a woods in the vicinity of St. Pravel where scouts
saw an enemy sentry standing guard before a farmhouse in a valley below.
One squad, engaged in reconnoitering the area, was immediately pinned down
by intense machinegun and automatic-weapons fire from within the house.
Skillfully deploying his light machinegun section, 1st Lt. Silk answered
enemy fire, but when 15 minutes had elapsed with no slackening of resistance,
he decided to eliminate the strong point by a l-man attack. Running 100
yards across an open field to the shelter of a low stone wall directly
in front of the farmhouse, he fired into the door and windows with his
carbine; then, in full view of the enemy, vaulted the wall and dashed 50
yards through a hail of bullets to the left side of the house, where he
hurled a grenade through a window, silencing a machinegun and killing 2
gunners. In attempting to move to the right side of the house he drew fire
from a second machinegun emplaced in the woodshed. With magnificent courage
he rushed this position in the face of direct fire and succeeded in neutralizing
the weapon and killing the 2 gunners by throwing grenades into the structure.
His supply of grenades was by now exhausted, but undaunted, he dashed back
to the side of the farmhouse and began to throw rocks through a window,
demanding the surrender of the remaining enemy. Twelve Germans, overcome
by his relentless assault and confused by his unorthodox methods, gave
up to the lone American. By his gallant willingness to assume the full
burden of the attack and the intrepidity with which he carried out his
extremely hazardous mission, 1st Lt. Silk enabled his battalion to continue
its advance and seize its objective.
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)