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 Russell E. Dunham

Russell E. Dunham

Birth
East Carondelet, St. Clair County, Illinois, USA
Death 6 Apr 2009 (aged 89)
Godfrey, Madison County, Illinois, USA
Burial Godfrey, Madison County, Illinois, USA
Plot Section 2, Lot 88, Space 4
Memorial ID 35615885 · View Source
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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".


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Elizabeth Reed
  • Added: 7 Apr 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 35615885
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Russell E. Dunham (23 Feb 1920–6 Apr 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 35615885, citing Valhalla Memorial Park and Mausoleum, Godfrey, Madison County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .