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Thorson, John Friestad

Date of birth:
May 10th, 1920 (Armstrong/Iowa, United States)
Date of death:
October 28th, 1944 (Dagami/Leyte, Philippine Islands)
Buried on:
Keokuk National Cemetery
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Private 1st Class
Unit:
Company G, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division "Bayonet", U.S. Army
Awarded on:
July 19th, 1945
"He was an automatic rifleman on 28 October 1944, in the attack on Dagami Leyte, Philippine Islands. A heavily fortified enemy position consisting of pillboxes and supporting trenches held up the advance of his company. His platoon was ordered to out-flank and neutralize the strongpoint. Voluntarily moving well out in front of his group, Pvt. Thorson came upon an enemy fire trench defended by several hostile riflemen and, disregarding the intense fire directed at him, attacked single-handed. He was seriously wounded and fell about 6 yards from the trench. Just as the remaining 20 members of the platoon reached him, 1 of the enemy threw a grenade into their midst. Shouting a warning and making a final effort, Pvt. Thorson rolled onto the grenade and smothered the explosion with his body. He was instantly killed, but his magnificent courage and supreme self-sacrifice prevented the injury and possible death of his comrades, and remain with them as a lasting inspiration."
Awarded posthumously
Medal of Honor - Army (MoH)

Sources

  • Photo 1: Findagrave.com
  • - Jordan, Kenneth N., Yesterday’s Heroes, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., USA, 1996.

Photo