The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*PRUSSMAN, ERNEST W.
Rank and Organization: Private First Class, U.S.
Army, 13th Infantry, 8th Infantry Division. Place and Date Near Les Coates,
Brittany, France, 8 September 1944. Entered Service at: Brighton, Mass. Birth:
Baltimore, Md. G.O. No.: 31, 17 April 1945.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of
duty on 8 September 1944, near Les Coates, Brittany, France. When the advance of the flank
companies of 2 battalions was halted by intense enemy mortar, machinegun, and sniper fire
from a fortified position on his left, Pfc. Prussman maneuvered his squad to assault the
enemy fortifications. Hurdling a hedgerow, he came upon 2 enemy riflemen whom he disarmed.
After leading his squad across an open field to the next hedgerow, he advanced to a
machinegun position, destroyed the gun, captured its crew and 2 riflemen. Again advancing
ahead of his squad in the assault, he was mortally wounded by an enemy rifleman, but as he
fell to the ground he threw a handgrenade, killing his opponent. His superb leadership and
heroic action at the cost of his life so demoralized the enemy that resistance at this
point collapsed, permitting the 2 battalions to continue their advance.