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PRUSSMAN, ERNEST

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For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 8 September 1944, near Les Coates, Brittany, France. When the advance of flank companies of two battalions was halted by intense enemy mortar, machine-gun, and sniper fire from a fortified position on his left, Pfc. Prussman maneuvered his squad to assault the enemy fortifications. Hurdling a hedgerow, he came upon two enemy riflemen whom he disarmed. After leading his squad across an open field to the next hedgerow, he advanced to a machine-gun position, destroyed the gun, captured its crew and two riflemen. Again advancing ahead of his squad in the assault, he was mortally wounded by an enemy rifleman, but as he fell to the ground he threw a hand grenade, killing his opponent. His superb leadership and heroic action at the cost of his life so demoralized the enemy that resistance at this point collapsed, permitting the two battalions to continue their advance.

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Service

Rank

Division

U.S. Army Private First Class 13th Infantry, 8th Infantry Division

Conflict

Year of honor

born

World War Two 1944 Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland

Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 8 September 1944, near Les Coates, Brittany, France. When the advance of flank companies of two battalions was halted by intense enemy mortar, machine-gun, and sniper fire from a fortified position on his left, Pfc. Prussman maneuvered his squad to assault the enemy fortifications. Hurdling a hedgerow, he came upon two enemy riflemen whom he disarmed. After leading his squad across an open field to the next hedgerow, he advanced to a machine-gun position, destroyed the gun, captured its crew and two riflemen. Again advancing ahead of his squad in the assault, he was mortally wounded by an enemy rifleman, but as he fell to the ground he threw a hand grenade, killing his opponent. His superb leadership and heroic action at the cost of his life so demoralized the enemy that resistance at this point collapsed, permitting the two battalions to continue their advance.