Kisters, Gerhart Herman "Gerry"

Date of birth:
April 14th, 1924 (Salt Lake City/Utah, United States)
Date of death:
May 11th, 1986
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Staff Sergeant
Unit:
Company B, 91st Reconnaissance Squadron, 2nd Armoured Division "Hell on Wheels", U.S. Army
Awarded on:
July 26th, 1943
Action:
"For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company B, 91st Reconnaissance Squadron, 2d Armored Division. On ** May 1943, near ***, Tunisia, Staff Sergeant Kisters made several individual reconnaissance missions, returning each time with timely and valuable information concerning location of artillery emplacements. Alone, and while subjected to enemy heavy artillery and concentrated machine gun fire, and individual rifle fire, Staff Sergeant Kisters crept forward on an artillery piece which was firing on our forces near ***. By the effective use of his hand grenades and rifle, Staff Sergeant Kisters wiped out the entire crew. The extraordinary heroism, initiative, and devotion to duty with complete disregard for his own welfare displayed by Staff Sergeant Kisters reflect great credit upon himself and the military service, and are deserving of the highest praise."
Details:
Headquarters, Fifth U.S. Army, General Orders No. 51
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
Action:
"On 31 July 1943, near Gagliano, Sicily, a detachment of 1 officer and 9 enlisted men, including Sgt. Kisters, advancing ahead of the leading elements of U.S. troops to fill a large crater in the only available vehicle route through Gagliano, was taken under fire by 2 enemy machineguns. Sgt. Kisters and the officer, unaided and in the face of intense small arms fire, advanced on the nearest machinegun emplacement and succeeded in capturing the gun and its crew of 4. Although the greater part of the remaining small arms fire was now directed on the captured machinegun position, Sgt. Kisters voluntarily advanced alone toward the second gun emplacement. While creeping forward, he was struck 5 times by enemy bullets, receiving wounds in both legs and his right arm. Despite the wounds, he continued to advance on the enemy, and captured the second machinegun after killing 3 of its crew and forcing the fourth member to flee. The courage of this soldier and his unhesitating willingness to sacrifice his life, if necessary, served as an inspiration to the command."

Sources

  • Photo: Home of Heroes
  • Jordan, Kenneth N., Yesterday’s Heroes, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., USA, 1996.

Photo