Medal of Honor Recipient Robert D. Maxwell
Passes Away at 98
Earned Nation’s Highest Award for Valor during WWII
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (May 13, 2019)— The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announces that Robert Maxwell, Medal of Honor recipient, passed away Saturday, May 11, 2019, in Bend, Oregon, at the age of 98.
He was born in Boise, Idaho, on October 26, 1920. He enlisted in 1942. He was presented the Medal of Honor in 1945 in Denver, Colorado, by Major General C. H. Danielson for valor in WWII. At the time of his presentation, he reportedly said that he hoped to return home to help take care of his grandmother and resume his education.
On September 7, 1944, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell's battalion observation post near Basancon, France, faced an overwhelming onslaught by enemy infantry. He aggressively fought off advancing enemy elements and, by his calmness, tenacity, and fortitude, inspired his fellows to continue an unequal struggle. When an enemy hand grenade was thrown in the midst of his squad, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell unhesitatingly hurled himself squarely upon it, using his blanket and his unprotected body to absorb the full force of the explosion. This act of instantaneous heroism permanently maimed Technician 5th Grade Maxwell, but saved the lives of his comrades in arms and facilitated maintenance of vital military communications during the temporary withdrawal of the battalion's forward headquarters.
Maxwell was also awarded two Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars, and a Bronze Star while serving in the 7th Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.
He is survived by his daughters and numerous grandchildren.
Funeral services are pending. There are 70 recipients alive today.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society was chartered by Congress in 1958 and consists exclusively of the living recipients of our nation’s highest award for bravery in combat, the Medal of Honor. Those who wear this light blue ribbon and Medal around their neck are “recipients” of this prestigious award; they are not “winners.” Although it is common to refer to the Medal as the Congressional Medal of Honor, it is simply named the Medal of Honor, although, as stated, the Congress did establish the Society as the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.