Second Lieutenant George W. G. Boyce, Jr., USA (July 23, 1944)

George W. G. Boyce, Jr. was born in New York City and was living in Town of Cornwall, New York when he joined the United States Army. Very little information is available about his life before his military service.

On July 23, 1944 on New Guinea during the Battle of Driniumor River as a Second Lieutenant with the 112th Cavalry Regiment, Boyce saved the men of his platoon from a Japanese grenade by smothering it with his own body.

He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on April 7, 1945.

From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II (A-F):

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Photo: Military Times’ Hall of Valor

*BOYCE, GEORGE W. G., JR.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 112th Cavalry Regimental Combat Team. Place and date. Near Afua, New Guinea, 23 July 1944. Entered service at: Town of Cornwall, Orange County, N.Y. G.O. No.: 25, 7 April 1945

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty near Afua, New Guinea, on 23 July 1944. 2d Lt. Boyce’s troop, having been ordered to the relief of another unit surrounded by superior enemy forces, moved out, and upon gaining contact with the enemy, the two leading platoons deployed and built up a firing line. 2d Lt. Boyce was ordered to attack with his platoon and make the main effort on the right of the troop. He launched his attack but after a short advance encountered such intense rifle, machinegun, and mortar fire that the forward movement of his platoon was temporarily halted. A shallow depression offered a route of advance and he worked his squad up this avenue of approach in order to close with the enemy. He was promptly met by a volley of hand grenades, 1 falling between himself and the men immediately following. Realizing at once that the explosion would kill or wound several of his men, he promptly threw himself upon the grenade and smothered the blast with his own body. By thus deliberately sacrificing his life to save those of his men, this officer exemplified the highest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Lieutenant Boyce was buried in the Manila American Cemetery after the war and rests in peace with 17,201 comrades. A “Victory” ship was also named in his honor.

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