First Lieutenant Beryl R. Newman, USA (May 26, 1944)

Beryl Richard Newman was born on November 2, 1911 in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Based on his relative age, his rank of First Lieutenant on May 26, 1944, and a lack of a 1938-1946 enlistment record, I am surmising that he was already in the United States Army or the National Guard prior to World War II.

Newman served as an infantry platoon leader with Companies F and G of the 2nd Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division. His courage and leadership during the breakout from the Anzio beachhead saw him decorated with the Medal of Honor.

From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II (M-S):

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Photo: Military Times’ Hall of Valor

NEWMAN, BERYL R.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 133d Infantry, 34th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Cisterna, Italy, 26 May 1944. Entered service at: Baraboo, Wis. G.O. No.: 5, 15 January 1945

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on 26 May 1944. Attacking the strongly held German Anzio-Nettuno defense line near Cisterna, Italy, 1st Lt. Newman, in the lead of his platoon, was suddenly fired upon by 2 enemy machine guns located on the crest of a hill about 100 yards to his front. The 4 scouts with him immediately hit the ground, but 1st Lt. Newman remained standing in order to see the enemy positions and his platoon then about 100 yards behind. Locating the enemy nests, 1st Lt. Newman called back to his platoon and ordered 1 squad to advance to him and the other to flank the enemy to the right. Then, still standing upright in the face of the enemy machinegun fire, 1st Lt. Newman opened up with his tommygun on the enemy nests. From this range, his fire was not effective in covering the advance of his squads, and 1 squad was pinned down by the enemy fire. Seeing that his squad was unable to advance, 1st Lt. Newman, in full view of the enemy gunners and in the face of their continuous fire, advanced alone on the enemy nests. He returned their fire with his tommygun and succeeded in wounding a German in each of the nests. The remaining 2 Germans fled from the position into a nearby house. Three more enemy soldiers then came out of the house and ran toward a third machinegun. 1st Lt. Newman, still relentlessly advancing toward them, killed 1 before he reached the gun, the second before he could fire it. The third fled for his life back into the house. Covering his assault by firing into the doors and windows of the house, 1st Lt. Newman, boldly attacking by himself, called for the occupants to surrender to him. Gaining the house, he kicked in the door and went inside. Although armed with rifles and machine pistols, the 11 Germans there, apparently intimidated, surrendered to the lieutenant without further resistance, 1st Lt. Newman, single-handed, had silenced 3 enemy machineguns, wounded 2 Germans, killed 2 more, and took 11 prisoners. This demonstration of sheer courage, bravery, and willingness to close with the enemy even in the face of such heavy odds, instilled into these green troops the confidence of veterans and reflects the highest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Newman left the Army holding the rank of Captain. He passed away at age 76 on March 8, 1998 and was laid to rest in Remlik Gardens, Remlik, Virginia. A memorial was also erected to him in Saluda, Virginia.

The 34th Infantry Division is a present National Guard division, headquartered in Minnesota, that is made up of guardsmen from multiple midwestern states.

 

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