Clarence Colson


Medal_of_Honor_ribbon-131x37Distinguished Service Cross
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  • Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division
  • Place and date: Near Colleville-sur-Mer, France, 6 June 1944
  • G.O. No.: HQ, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 39 (1944)

Citation: Sergeant Clarence Colson, 12022782, 16th Infantry, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on 6 June 1944, in France. When the landing craft carrying Sergeant Colson and his mortar squad grounded some 400 yards offshore, the men were forced to swim to the beach under heavy enemy machine gun fire. Sergeant Colson, despite heavy enemy fire, moved from one man to another encouraging and aiding them shoreward. On reaching shore, Sergeant Colson was determined to continue the attack at once and moved across the fire-swept beach, locating and organizing his scattered section. He then took up a firing position in clear view of the enemy and directed his fire at the nearest machine gun emplacement while some of his men cut a gap in the wire. Firing as he advanced, Sergeant Colson then led his squad through an uncharted minefield to assault the enemy machine gun. Despite enemy hand grenades thrown at him, Sergeant Colson reached the parapet of the gun position and leaped into it with his rifle blazing. In the ensuing action against overwhelming odds, Sergeant Colson killed several of the enemy and forced the surrender of seventeen. The courage, initiative and leadership exhibited by Sergeant Colson reflects great credit on himself and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Armed Forces. Entered military service from New York.

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