*DELEAU, EMILE, JR.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S.
Army, Company A, 142d Infantry, 36th Infantry Division. Place and date:
Oberhoffen, France, 12 February 1945. Entered service at: Blaine, Ohio. Birth:
Lansing, Ohio. G.O. No.: 60, 25 July 1945.
He led a squad in the night attack on Oberhoffen, France, where fierce house-to-house
fighting took place. After clearing 1 building of opposition, he moved his men toward a
second house from which heavy machinegun fire came. He courageously exposed himself to
hostile bullets and, firing his submachine gun as he went, advanced steadily toward the
enemy position until close enough to hurl grenades through a window, killing 3 Germans and
wrecking their gun. His progress was stopped by heavy rifle and machinegun fire from
another house. Sgt. Deleau dashed through the door with his gun blazing. Within, he
captured 10 Germans. The squad then took up a position for the night and awaited daylight
to resume the attack. At dawn of 2 February Sgt. Deleau pressed forward with his unit,
killing 2 snipers as he advanced to a point where machinegun fire from a house barred the
way. Despite vicious small-arms fire, Sgt. Deleau ran across an open area to reach the
rear of the building, where he destroyed 1 machinegun and killed its 2 operators with a
grenade. He worked to the front of the structure and located a second machinegun. Finding
it impossible to toss a grenade into the house from his protected position, he fearlessly
moved away from the building and was about to hurl his explosive when he was instantly
killed by a burst from the gun he sought to knock out. With magnificent courage and daring
aggressiveness, Sgt. Deleau cleared 4 well-defended houses of Germans, inflicted severe
losses on the enemy and at the sacrifice of his own life aided his battalion to reach its
objective with a minimum of casualties.