*CHRISTIAN, HERBERT F.
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army,
15th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Valmontone, Italy, 2-3
June 1944. Entered service at: Steubenville, Ohio. Birth: Byersville,
Ohio. G.O. No.: 43, 30 May 1945.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of
duty. On 2-3 June 1944, at 1 a.m., Pvt. Christian elected to sacrifice his life in order
that his comrades might extricate themselves from an ambush. Braving massed fire of about
60 riflemen, 3 machineguns, and 3 tanks from positions only 30 yards distant, he stood
erect and signaled to the patrol to withdraw. The whole area was brightly illuminated by
enemy flares. Although his right leg was severed above the knee by cannon fire, Pvt.
Christian advanced on his left knee and the bloody stump of his right thigh, firing his
submachinegun. Despite excruciating pain, Pvt. Christian continued on his self-assigned
mission. He succeeded in distracting the enemy and enabled his 12 comrades to escape. He
killed 3 enemy soldiers almost at once. Leaving a trail of blood behind him, he made his
way forward 20 yards, halted at a point within 10 yards of the enemy, and despite intense
fire killed a machine-pistol man. Reloading his weapon, he fired directly into the enemy
position. The enemy appeared enraged at the success of his ruse, concentrated 20-mm.
machinegun, machine-pistol and rifle fire on him, yet he refused to seek cover.
Maintaining his erect position, Pvt. Christian fired his weapon to the very last. Just as
he emptied his submachinegun, the enemy bullets found their mark and Pvt. Christian
slumped forward dead. The courage and spirit of self-sacrifice displayed by this soldier
were an inspiration to his comrades and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the