James A. Wells


Medal_of_Honor_ribbon-131x37Distinguished Service Cross
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  • Rank and organization: Staff 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. 31 (1944)

Citation: Staff Sergeant James A. Wells, 35215424, 16th Infantry, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on 6 June 1944, in France. While his company was pinned down on the beach die to the intense enemy rifle, machine gun and artillery fire, Staff Sergeant Wells, with two other men, volunteered to cut an opening in the barbed wire. In the face of the heavy enemy fire, he opened a gap in the wire and then picked his way through a minefield to the base of a hill and proceeded to lay effective rifle fire on the enemy positions. He caused the enemy to cease firing long enough to allow his company to move through the gap in the wire and join him beyond the minefield. Then, while the men who had joined him laid frontal fire on the enemy positions, he, though continually exposed, moved to the flank and rear of the enemy and subjected them to his extremely accurate and successfully assaulted the enemy positions. When the enemy counterattacked, Staff Sergeant Wells again worked his way to the flank and from his exposed position laid effective fire upon the enemy and remained at his post despite the heavy fire that was placed upon him until the counterattack was beaten off. The courage, initiative and skill demonstrated by Staff Sergeant Wells reflects great credit on himself and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Armed Forces. Entered military service from West Virginia.

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