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News From The Past

Abilene Reporter-News
May 31, 1997

WWII hero James Logan
Awarded Texas Medal of Honor

Highlights Friday from the Capitol

AUSTIN (AP) - More than three decades after creating it, state lawmakers on Friday granted the first Legislative Medal of Honor to former Tech. Sgt. James M. Logan.

The 76-year-old also is a recipient of the Medal of Honor granted by Congress, the Distinguished Service Cross, a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Italian Cross of Honor. He could be the only living person eligible for the Texas award, according to state Rep. Tommy Merritt, R-Longview, who helped push for the award.

The state award, created in 1963, requires a recipient to be a member of the Texas National Guard who has performed acts of "personal bravery," regardless of his own life and safety.

Logan, a Kilgore cattle farmer, was called up from the Texas National Guard to the 36th Infantry Division in World War II.

According to his award citations, Logan on Sept. 9, 1943, led his company in a landing on a beach near Salerno, Italy. The company had advanced about half a mile when it came under machine gun fire.

Logan, then 22, continued forward uncovered for 200 yards, killing three German soldiers and successfully taking out two soldiers operating the machine gun.

He turned the gun on surrounding German soldiers, sending them to cover. Logan also captured an enemy officer and a private in the exchange.

On the same day, Logan killed a sniper in a building who had taken shots at his company from 150 yards away. He approached the building alone under fire.

"What Sgt. Logan did that day was more than enough for even a million lifetimes," said David Stroud, a historian at Kilgore College. "That is why we are here."


1997, by Abilene Reporter-News / Texnews


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