Curtis F. Shoup was born January 11, 1921 in Napenoch, New York. He graduated from high school in Oswego, NY and was inducted for wartime service in the United States Army at age 21 on August 12, 1942 at Syracuse, NY.
Shoup was assigned to Company I, 3rd Battalion, 346th Infantry Regiment in August of 1944. The regiment was part of the 87th Infantry Division and was comprised mainly of draftees. They arrived for combat in Europe when they landed in France in early December, 1944.
Robert J. Watson was one of Shoup’s officers in Company I, and knew him personally from high school days. He was one of Shoup’s comrades who witnessed his daring charge ahead alone over frozen ground with just his M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle and a few grenades to destroy a Nazi machine gun in Belgium on January 7, 1945. Shoup’s selfless, single man attack was later recognized with the sole Medal of Honor earned by the division.
*SHOUP, CURTIS F.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 346th Infantry, 87th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Tillet, Belgium, 7 January 1945. Entered service at: Buffalo, N.Y. G.0. No.: 60, 25 July 1945
Citation: On 7 January 1945, near Tillet, Belgium, his company attacked German troops on rising ground. Intense hostile machinegun fire pinned down and threatened to annihilate the American unit in an exposed position where frozen ground made it impossible to dig in for protection. Heavy mortar and artillery fire from enemy batteries was added to the storm of destruction falling on the Americans. Realizing that the machinegun must be silenced at all costs, S/Sgt. Shoup, armed with an automatic rifle, crawled to within 75 yards of the enemy emplacement. He found that his fire was ineffective from this position, and completely disregarding his own safety, stood up and grimly strode ahead into the murderous stream of bullets, firing his low-held weapon as he went. He was hit several times and finally was knocked to the ground. But he struggled to his feet and staggered forward until close enough to hurl a grenade, wiping out the enemy machinegun nest with his dying action. By his heroism, fearless determination, and supreme sacrifice, S/Sgt. Shoup eliminated a hostile weapon which threatened to destroy his company and turned a desperate situation into victory.
Sergeant Shoup’s remains were returned to the United States and laid to rest in the North Scriba Union Cemetery, North Scriba, New York. The 87th Support Command of the United States Army Reserve carries on the lineage of the 87th Infantry Division today.