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CRAWFORD, WILLIAM

crawford william j

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Altavilla, Italy, 13 September 1943. When Company I attacked an enemy-held position on Hill 424, the 3d Platoon, in which Pvt. Crawford was a squad scout, attacked as base platoon for the company. After reaching the crest of a hill, the platoon was pinned down by intense enemy machine-gun and small-arms fire. Locating one of these guns, which was dug in on a terrace on his immediate front, Pvt. Crawford, without orders and on his own initiative moved over the hill under enemy fire to a point within a few yards of the gun emplacement and singlehandedly destroyed the machine gun and killed three of the crew with a hand grenade, thus enabling his platoon to continue its advance. When the platoon, after reaching the crest, was once more delayed by enemy fire, Pvt. Crawford again, in the face of intense fire, advanced directly to the front midway between two hostile machine-gun nests located on a higher terrace and emplaced in a small ravine. Moving first to the left, with a grenade he destroyed one gun emplacement and killed the crew; he then worked his way, under continuous fire, to the other and with one grenade and the use of his rifle, killed one enemy and forced the remainder to flee. Seizing the enemy machine gun, he fired on the withdrawing Germans and facilitated his company's advance.

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Service

Rank

Division

U.S. Army Private (highest rank: Master Sergeant) 3d Platoon, Company I, 3d Battalion, 142d Infantry, 36th Infantry Division

Conflict

Year of honor

born

World War Two 1943 Pueblo, Pueblo County, Colorado

Living History Video

PORTRAITS OF VALOR

Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Altavilla, Italy, 13 September 1943. When Company I attacked an enemy-held position on Hill 424, the 3d Platoon, in which Pvt. Crawford was a squad scout, attacked as base platoon for the company. After reaching the crest of a hill, the platoon was pinned down by intense enemy machine-gun and small-arms fire. Locating one of these guns, which was dug in on a terrace on his immediate front, Pvt. Crawford, without orders and on his own initiative moved over the hill under enemy fire to a point within a few yards of the gun emplacement and singlehandedly destroyed the machine gun and killed three of the crew with a hand grenade, thus enabling his platoon to continue its advance. When the platoon, after reaching the crest, was once more delayed by enemy fire, Pvt. Crawford again, in the face of intense fire, advanced directly to the front midway between two hostile machine-gun nests located on a higher terrace and emplaced in a small ravine. Moving first to the left, with a grenade he destroyed one gun emplacement and killed the crew; he then worked his way, under continuous fire, to the other and with one grenade and the use of his rifle, killed one enemy and forced the remainder to flee. Seizing the enemy machine gun, he fired on the withdrawing Germans and facilitated his company's advance.