LAWS, ROBERT E.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S.
Army, Company G, 169th Infantry, 43d Infantry Division. Place and date: Pangasinan
Province, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 12 January 1945. Entered service at: Altoona,
Pa. Birth: Altoona, Pa. G.O. No: 77, 10 September 1945.
He led the assault squad when Company G attacked enemy hill positions. The enemy force,
estimated to be a reinforced infantry company, was well supplied with machineguns,
ammunition, grenades, and blocks of TNT and could be attacked only across a narrow ridge
70 yards long. At the end of this ridge an enemy pillbox and rifle positions were set in
rising ground. Covered by his squad, S/Sgt Laws traversed the hogback through vicious
enemy fire until close to the pillbox, where he hurled grenades at the fortification.
Enemy grenades wounded him, but he persisted in his assault until 1 of his missiles found
its mark and knocked out the pillbox. With more grenades, passed to him by members of his
squad who had joined him, he led the attack on the entrenched riflemen. In the advance up
the hill, he suffered additional wounds in both arms and legs, about the body and in the
head, as grenades and TNT charges exploded near him. Three Japs rushed him with fixed
bayonets, and he emptied the magazine of his machine pistol at them, killing 2. He closed
in hand-to-hand combat with the third, seizing the Jap's rifle as he met the onslaught.
The 2 fell to the ground and rolled some 50 or 60 feet down a bank. When the dust cleared
the Jap lay dead and the valiant American was climbing up the hill with a large gash
across the head. He was given first aid and evacuated from the area while his squad
completed the destruction of the enemy position. S/Sgt. Laws' heroic actions provided
great inspiration to his comrades, and his courageous determination, in the face of
formidable odds and while suffering from multiple wounds, enabled them to secure an
important objective with minimum casualties.