John V. Griffen

Medal_of_Honor_ribbon-131x37Distinguished Service Cross
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  • Rank and organization: Private First Class, 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: Private First Class John V. Griffin, 6958525, 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 due to the heavy enemy rifle, machine gun and artillery fire, Private First Class Griffen with two other men volunteered to open a gap in the barbed wire. Under intense fire he cut his way through the wire and then picked his way through a minefield, marking a path for his company to follow and reached the base of a hill. From this point, he laid accurate rifle fire upon the enemy emplacements, forcing them to cease firing long enough to permit part of his company to move through the gap in the wire and the minefield and join him at the base of the hill. While this group directed frontal fire on the enemy, Private First Class Griffen moved out to the flank and from an exposed position directed his accurate fire against the enemy. Again the enemy was forced to cease firing long enough to permit the men who had been delivering the frontal fire to advance and successfully assault the enemy positions. When, later in the same day, the enemy counterattacked Private First Class Griffen worked his way around the enemy and engaged them from the flank. Despite intense enemy fire to dislodge him, Private First Class Griffen remained at his exposed position until the enemy counterattack was beaten off. The personal bravery, initiative and determined devotion to duty displayed by Private First Class Griffen reflects great credit on himself and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Armed Forces. Entered military service from Texas.

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