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Russell E. Dunham
Birth: Feb. 23, 1920
East Carondelet
St. Clair County
Illinois, USA
Death: Apr. 6, 2009
Godfrey
Madison County
Illinois, USA

World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He was awarded the nation's highest military honor for his bravery during a battle near Kayserberg, France, on January 8, 1945. His citation reads "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. At about 14:30 hours on 8 January 1945 during an attack on Hill 616 near Kayserberg, France. T/Sgt. Dunham single handly assaulted 3 enemy machine guns. Wearing a white robe made of a mattress cover, carrying 12 carbine magazines and with a dozen hand grenades snagged in his belt, suspenders and buttonholes, T/Sgt. Dunham advanced in the attack up a snow covered hill under fire from 2 machine guns and supporting rifleman. His platoon 35 years behind him, T/Sgt. Dunham crawled 75 yards under heavy direct fire toward the timbered emplacement shielding the left machine gun. As he jumped to his feet 10 yards from the gun and charged forward, machine gun fire tore through his camouflage robe and a rifle bullet seared a 10 inch gash across his back sending him spinning 15 yards down hill into the snow. When the indomitable sergreat sprang to his feet to renew his 1-man assault, a German egg grenade landed beside him. He kicked it aside and as it exploded 5 yards away, shot and killed the German machine gunner and assistant gunner. His carbine empty, he jumped into the emplacement and hauled out the third member of the gun crew by the collar. Although his back wound was causing him excruciating pain and blood was seeping through his white coat, T/Sgt. Dunham proceeded 50 yards through a storm of automatic and rifle fire to attack the second machine gun. Twenty five yards from the emplacement he hurled 2 grenades, destroying the gun and its crew: then fired down into the supporting foxholes with his carbine dispatching and dispersing the enemy riflemen. Although his coat was so thoroughly blood-soaked that he was a conspicuous target against the white landscape, T/Sgt. Dunham again advanced ahead of his platoon in an assault on enemy positions farther uphill. Coming under machine gun fire from 65 years to his front, while rifle grenades exploded 10 yards from his position, he hit the ground and crawled forward. At 15 yards range, he jumped to his feet, staggered a few paces toward the timbered macine gun emplacement and killed the crew with hand grenades. An enemy rifleman fired at point-blank range, but missed him. After killing the rifleman, T/Sgt. Dunham drove others from their foxholes with grenades and carbine fire. Killing 9 Germans wounding 7 and capturing 2, firing about 175 rounds of carbine ammunition and expending 11 grenades. T/Sgt. Dunham, despite a painful wound, spearheaded a spectacular and successful diversionary attack". 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Wilda W. Olston Dunham (1927 - 2002)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Valhalla Memorial Park and Mausoleum
Godfrey
Madison County
Illinois, USA
Plot: Section 2, Lot 88, Space 4
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Elizabeth Reed
Record added: Apr 07, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35615885
Russell E. Dunham
Added by: Elizabeth Reed
 
Russell E. Dunham
Added by: Elizabeth Reed
 
Russell E. Dunham
Added by: Connie Nisinger
 
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Rest in peace.
- FortheKing
 Added: Feb. 23, 2017

- sjm
 Added: Feb. 23, 2017

- Dawn M.
 Added: Feb. 23, 2017
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