*HARMON, ROY W.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 362d Infantry, 91st Infantry
Division. Place and date: Near Casaglia, Italy, 12 July 1944. Entered service
at: Pixley, Calif. Birth: Talala, Okla. G.O. No: 83, 2 October 1945.
He was an acting squad leader when heavy machinegun fire from enemy positions, well dug in
on commanding ground and camouflaged by haystacks, stopped his company's advance and
pinned down 1 platoon where it was exposed to almost certain annihilation. Ordered to
rescue the beleaguered platoon by neutralizing the German automatic fire, he led his squad
forward along a draw to the right of the trapped unit against 3 key positions which poured
murderous fire into his helpless comrades. When within range, his squad fired tracer
bullets in an attempt to set fire to the 3 haystacks which were strung out in a loose line
directly to the front, 75, 150, and 250 yards away. Realizing that this attack was
ineffective, Sgt. Harmon ordered his squad to hold their position and voluntarily began a
1-man assault. Carrying white phosphorus grenades and a submachine gun, he skillfully took
advantage of what little cover the terrain afforded and crept to within 25 yards of the
first position. He set the haystack afire with a grenade, and when 2 of the enemy
attempted to flee from the inferno, he killed them with his submachine gun. Crawling
toward the second machinegun emplacement, he attracted fire and was wounded; but he
continued to advance and destroyed the position with hand grenades, killing the occupants.
He then attacked the third machinegun, running to a small knoll, then crawling over ground
which offered no concealment or cover. About halfway to his objective, he was again
wounded. But he struggled ahead until within 20 yards of the machinegun nest, where he
raised himself to his knees to throw a grenade. He was knocked down by direct enemy fire.
With a final, magnificent effort, he again arose, hurled the grenade and fell dead,
riddled by bullets. His missile fired the third position, destroying it. Sgt. Harmon's
extraordinary heroism, gallantry, and self-sacrifice saved a platoon from being wiped out,
and made it possible for his company to advance against powerful enemy resistance.