Roy William Woodrow Harmon

Roy William Woodrow Harmon

Talala, Rogers County, Oklahoma, USA
Death 12 Jul 1944 (aged 28)
Casaglia, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Burial Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Plot Plot A, Row 4, Grave 37
Memorial ID 15952774 · View Source
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World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. One of six Native Americans to receive the award. Roy W. Harmon enlisted in the army from California and was sent to Europe with Company C, 362nd Infantry Regiment, 91st Division. He was killed in Italy while attacking German firing positions that were pinning down Allied troops. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1945 in recognition of his actions. The citation reads: "He was an acting squad leader when heavy machine gun fire from enemy positions, well dug in on commanding ground and camouflaged by haystacks, stopped his company's advance and pinned down 1 platoon where it was exposed to almost certain annihilation. Ordered to rescue the beleaguered platoon by neutralizing the German automatic fire, he led his squad forward along a draw to the right of the trapped unit against 3 key positions which poured murderous fire into his helpless comrades. When within range, his squad fired tracer bullets in an attempt to set fire to the 3 haystacks which were strung out in a loose line directly to the front, 75, 150, and 250 yards away. Realizing that this attack was ineffective, Sgt. Harmon ordered his squad to hold their position and voluntarily began a 1-man assault. Carrying white phosphorus grenades and a submachine gun, he skillfully took advantage of what little cover the terrain afforded and crept to within 25 yards of the first position. He set the haystack afire with a grenade, and when 2 of the enemy attempted to flee from the inferno, he killed them with his submachine gun. Crawling toward the second machine gun emplacement, he attracted fire and was wounded; but he continued to advance and destroyed the position with hand grenades, killing the occupants. He then attacked the third machine gun, running to a small knoll, then crawling over ground which offered no concealment or cover. About halfway to his objective, he was again wounded. But he struggled ahead until within 20 yards of the machine gun nest, where he raised himself to his knees to throw a grenade. He was knocked down by direct enemy fire. With a final, magnificent effort, he again arose, hurled the grenade and fell dead, riddled by bullets. His missile fired the third position, destroying it. Sgt. Harmon's extraordinary heroism, gallantry, and self-sacrifice saved a platoon from being wiped out, and made it possible for his company to advance against powerful enemy resistance."

Bio by: Anne Cady

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Oct 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 15952774
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Roy William Woodrow Harmon (3 Apr 1916–12 Jul 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 15952774, citing Florence American Cemetery and Memorial, Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy ; Maintained by Find A Grave .