Joseph T. Dawson

Medal_of_Honor_ribbon-131x37Distinguished Service Cross
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  • Rank and organization: Captain, 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: Captain Joseph T. Dawson, O-452348, 16th Infantry, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on 6 June 1944, in France. Captain Dawson, in the initial landing on the coast of France, disembarked under a hail of enemy machine gun and rifle fire and, with utmost calmness, proceeded to organize a large group of men who were floundering near their bullet-riddled craft and led them ashore. However, upon reaching the beach, he found that his company was pinned down by direct fire from three enemy machine guns which were placed in an enemy strongpoint in a cliff immediately beyond the heavily minded sands. With absolute disregard for his own personal safety, Captain Dawson moved from his position of cover on the mine field deliberately drawing the fire of the enemy machine guns in order that his men might be free to move. This heroic diversion succeeded and his combat group crossed the beach to move into the assault on the enemy strongpoint. During this action, Captain Dawson was wounded in the leg. In a superb display of courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, Captain Dawson although wounded, led a successful attack into the enemy stronghold. The gallantry and outstanding leadership of Captain Dawson 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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