Second Lieutenant Almond E. Fisher, USA (September 12-13, 1944)

Almond Edward Fisher was born on January 28, 1913 in Hume, New York. During World War II, he was an infantry officer with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. The motto of the 45th was “Semper Anticus”, Latin for “Always Forward”.

On September 12-13, 1944, Second Lieutenant Fisher embodied that motto with acts of incredible courage while fighting in southern France.

During that night, Fisher’s platoon assaulted a heavily defended hilltop. Throughout the attack, seizure of the hill, and defense of it afterwards, he continually led from the front and moved among his men keeping them encouraged and in the fight, even crawling between their positions when he was wounded and couldn’t walk or run. His Medal of Honor was awarded the following April.

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

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Photo: Military Times’ Hall of Valor

FISHER, ALMOND E.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company E, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Grammont, France, 12-13 September 1944. Entered service at: Brooklyn, N.Y. G.O. No: 32, 23 April 1945

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on the night of 12-13 September 1944, near Grammont, France. In the darkness of early morning, 2d Lt. Fisher was leading a platoon of Company E, 157th Infantry, in single column to the attack of a strongly defended hill position. At 2:30 A.M., the forward elements were brought under enemy machinegun fire from a distance of not more than 20 yards. Working his way alone to within 20 feet of the gun emplacement, he opened fire with his carbine and killed the entire guncrew. A few minutes after the advance was resumed, heavy machinegun fire was encountered from the left flank. Again crawling forward alone under withering fire, he blasted the gun and crew from their positions with hand grenades. After a halt to replenish ammunition, the advance was again resumed and continued for 1 hour before being stopped by intense machinegun and rifle fire. Through the courageous and skillful leadership of 2d Lt. Fisher, the pocket of determined enemy resistance was rapidly obliterated. Spotting an emplaced machine pistol a short time later, with 1 of his men he moved forward and destroyed the position. As the advance continued the fire fight became more intense. When a bypassed German climbed from his foxhole and attempted to tear an Ml rifle from the hands of 1 of his men, 2d Lt. Fisher whirled and killed the enemy with a burst from his carbine. About 30 minutes later the platoon came under the heavy fire of machineguns from across an open field. 2d Lt. Fisher, disregarding the terrific fire, moved across the field with no cover or concealment to within range, knocked the gun from the position and killed or wounded the crew. Still under heavy fire he returned to his platoon and continued the advance. Once again heavy fire was encountered from a machinegun directly in front. Calling for hand grenades, he found only 2 remaining in the entire platoon. Pulling the pins and carrying a grenade in each hand, he crawled toward the gun emplacement, moving across areas devoid of cover and under intense fire to within 15 yards when he threw the grenades, demolished the gun and killed the guncrew. With ammunition low and daybreak near, he ordered his men to dig in and hold the ground already won. Under constant fire from the front and from both flanks, he moved among them directing the preparations for the defense. Shortly after the ammunition supply was replenished, the Germans launched a last determined effort against the depleted group. Attacked by superior numbers from the front, right, and left flank, and even from the rear, the platoon, in bitter hand-to-hand engagements drove back the enemy at every point. Wounded in both feet by close-range machine pistol fire early in the battle, 2d Lt. Fisher refused medical attention. Unable to walk, he crawled from man to man encouraging them and checking each position. Only after the fighting had subsided did 2d Lt. Fisher crawl 300 yards to the aid station from which he was evacuated. His extraordinary heroism, magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of pointblank enemy fire is an inspiration to his organization and reflects the finest traditions of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Fisher joined the New York Army National Guard after the war and eventually retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He passed away shortly before his 69th birthday on January 7, 1982 and was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

Today, the 45th Infantry Division’s lineage and traditions are carried by the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

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