William R. Washington

Medal_of_Honor_ribbon-131x37Distinguished Service Cross
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  • Rank and organization: Major, 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. 45 (1944)

Citation: Major William R. Washington, O-390302, 16th Infantry, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on 6 June 1944, in France. Major Washington landed with the regiment’s overstrength which was to follow the initial assault. When intense enemy fire pinned down the leading waves and his troops became part of this halted group, he exposed himself fearlessly to the raking fire along the shore and unhesitatingly led his men through barbed wire entanglements, over an uncharted minefield and up the heavily fortified cliffs, destroying several enemy fortifications while forging his way forward to the top. Then, after turning the replacements over to their organizations, he left the main body of troops and, on his own initiative, went forward through the enemy line to a vital crossroad near ***** and established an observation post. Although badly wounded by enemy sniper fire, he held his position for twenty four (24) hours and his observations and directions were invaluable to the advancing troops. Major Washington’s incomparable fighting spirit and magnificent valor, his extraordinary heroism and professional skill were important and decisive factors in the success of the initial assault. Entered military service from Virginia.

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