The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
EHLERS, WALTER D.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant,
U.S. Army, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and dare: Near Goville,
France, 9-10 June 1944. Entered service at: Manhattan, Kans. Birth:
Junction City, Kans. G.O. No.: 91, 19 December 1944.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty on 9-10 June 1944, near Goville, France. S/Sgt. Ehlers, always acting as the
spearhead of the attack, repeatedly led his men against heavily defended enemy strong
points exposing himself to deadly hostile fire whenever the situation required heroic and
courageous leadership. Without waiting for an order, S/Sgt. Ehlers, far ahead of his men,
led his squad against a strongly defended enemy strong point, personally killing 4 of an
enemy patrol who attacked him en route. Then crawling forward under withering machinegun
fire, he pounced upon the guncrew and put it out of action. Turning his attention to 2
mortars protected by the crossfire of 2 machineguns, S/Sgt. Ehlers led his men through
this hail of bullets to kill or put to flight the enemy of the mortar section, killing 3
men himself. After mopping up the mortar positions, he again advanced on a machinegun, his
progress effectively covered by his squad. When he was almost on top of the gun he leaped
to his feet and, although greatly outnumbered, he knocked out the position single-handed.
The next day, having advanced deep into enemy territory, the platoon of which S/Sgt.
Ehlers was a member, finding itself in an untenable position as the enemy brought
increased mortar, machinegun, and small arms fire to bear on it, was ordered to withdraw.
S/Sgt. Ehlers, after his squad had covered the withdrawal of the remainder of the platoon,
stood up and by continuous fire at the semicircle of enemy placements, diverted the bulk
of the heavy hostile fire on himself, thus permitting the members of his own squad to
withdraw. At this point, though wounded himself, he carried his wounded automatic rifleman
to safety and then returned fearlessly over the shell-swept field to retrieve the
automatic rifle which he was unable to carry previously. After having his wound treated,
he refused to be evacuated, and returned to lead his squad. The intrepid leadership,
indomitable courage, and fearless aggressiveness displayed by S/Sgt. Ehlers in the face of
overwhelming enemy forces serve as an inspiration to others.