Thomas F. O’Brien


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 Gela, Sicily, 11 July 1943
  • G.O. No.: HQ, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 17 (1944)

Citation: Captain Thomas F. O’Brien, O-357647, Infantry, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action on 11 July 1943, in Sicily. When his regiment was being savagely attacked by a strong force of enemy armor, causing a critical threat to the invasion effort, Captain O’Brien, with absolute disregard of his personal safety, placed himself in an exposed position five hundred yards from the oncoming tanks to better direct the fire of his Cannon Company. Captain O’Brien, exhibiting magnificent courage in the face of almost certain death, remained at his dangerous, shell-hammered post for a day and a half. His exemplary actions resulted in the destruction of nineteen enemy tanks and wheeled vehicles, and turned a serious threat into a glorious victory. His heroic and fearless behavior under adverse circumstances were an inspiration to his men, and reflect the highest traditions of the Service. Residence at appointment New Hampshire.


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. 42 (1944)

Citation: Captain Thomas F. O’Brien, O-357647, 16th Infantry, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on 6 June 1944, in France. Captain O’Brien landed on the coast of France with the initial assault wave. Severe casualties were inflicted on his company when the craft on which they were coming ashore was hit and sunk. Upon reaching the shore, he found that his men were scattered and disorganized. Despite the fact that most of the men were pinned down by extremely heavy enemy fire, Captain O’Brien, disregarding his own personal safety, moved up and down the fire-swept beach shouting orders and giving encouragement to the men. By his valiant leadership, he successfully reorganized his company. When he observed that several tanks were buttoned up and not firing, he immediately worked his way through the heavy enemy fire to them, found their crews and led them up the beach to a point from which they could engage the enemy guns. The personal bravery, aggressiveness and leadership displayed by Captain O’Brien reflects great credit on himself and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Armed Forces. Entered military service from New Hampshire.

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