The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*PEDEN, FORREST E.
Rank and Organization: Technician 5th Grade, U.S.
Army, Battery C, 10th Field Artillery Battalion, 3d Infantry Division. Place and Date
Near Biesheim, France, 3 February 1945. Entered Service at: Wathena, Kans. Birth:
St. Joseph, Mo. G.O. No.: 18, 13 February 1946.
He was a forward artillery observer when the group of about 45 infantrymen with whom he
was advancing was ambushed in the uncertain light of a waning moon. Enemy forces
outnumbering the Americans by 4 to 1 poured withering artillery, mortar, machinegun, and
small-arms fire into the stricken unit from the flanks, forcing our men to seek the cover
of a ditch which they found already occupied by enemy foot troops. As the opposing
infantrymen struggled in hand-to-hand combat, Technician Peden courageously went to the
assistance of 2 wounded soldiers and rendered first aid under heavy fire. With radio
communications inoperative, he realized that the unit would be wiped out unless help could
be secured from the rear. On his own initiative, he ran 800 yards to the battalion command
post through a hail of bullets which pierced his jacket and there secured 2 light tanks to
go to the relief of his hard-pressed comrades. Knowing the terrible risk involved, he
climbed upon the hull of the lead tank and guided it into battle. Through a murderous
concentration of fire the tank lumbered onward, bullets and shell fragments ricocheting
from its steel armor within inches of the completely exposed rider, until it reached the
ditch. As it was about to go into action it was turned into a flaming pyre by a direct hit
which killed Technician Peden. However, his intrepidity and gallant sacrifice was not in
vain. Attracted by the light from the burning tank, reinforcements found the beleaguered
Americans and drove off the enemy.