Technical Sergeant Charles F. Carey, Jr., USA (January 8-9, 1945)

Charles F. Carey, Jr. was born on December 23, 1915 in Canadian, Oklahoma. He was living in Wyoming when he entered the United States Army. By the winter of 1944-1945, he was fighting in western Europe with the 397th Infantry Regiment of the 100th Infantry Division.

On January 8-9, 1945, Carey as a Technical Sergeant was commanding an antitank platoon in the 397th. Their position was overrun and their guns destroyed by a much larger Nazi force at Rimling, France. He rallied those of his men he could gather, organized them for defense, and held off the enemy both by his leadership and personal courage until he was struck down by a sniper’s bullet. The Medal of Honor was posthumously awarded to him about six months later.

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

Medal of Honor ribbon (foreground); World War II European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon (background)
Medal of Honor ribbon (foreground); World War II European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon (background)
Photo: Military Times’ Hall of Valor

*CAREY, CHARLES F., JR.

Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, 397th Infantry, 100th Infantry Division. Place and date: Rimling, France, 8-9 January 1945. Entered service at: Cheyenne, Wyo. G.O. No.: 53, July 1945

Citation: He was in command of an antitank platoon when about 200 enemy infantrymen and 12 tanks attacked his battalion, overrunning part of its position. After losing his guns, T/Sgt. Carey, acting entirely on his own initiative, organized a patrol and rescued 2 of his squads from a threatened sector, evacuating those who had been wounded. He organized a second patrol and advanced against an enemy-held house from which vicious fire issued, preventing the free movement of our troops. Covered by fire from his patrol, he approached the house, killed 2 snipers with his rifle, and threw a grenade in the door. He entered alone and a few minutes later emerged with 16 prisoners. Acting on information he furnished, the American forces were able to capture an additional 41 Germans in adjacent houses. He assembled another patrol, and, under covering fire, moved to within a few yards of an enemy tank and damaged it with a rocket. As the crew attempted to leave their burning vehicle, he calmly shot them with his rifle, killing 3 and wounding a fourth. Early in the morning of 9 January, German infantry moved into the western part of the town and encircled a house in which T/Sgt. Carey had previously posted a squad. Four of the group escaped to the attic. By maneuvering an old staircase against the building, T/Sgt. Carey was able to rescue these men. Later that day, when attempting to reach an outpost, he was struck down by sniper fire. The fearless and aggressive leadership of T/Sgt. Carey, his courage in the face of heavy fire from superior enemy forces, provided an inspiring example for his comrades and materially helped his battalion to withstand the German onslaught.

Technical Sergeant Carey, age 29 at his death, rests in peace along with 5,322 of his brothers in arms in the Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupré, Liege, Belgium. The descendant of the 100th Infantry Division is today known as the US Army Reserve’s 100th Division (Operational Support) and is part of the 80th Training Command.

 

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