Staff Sergeant Andrew Miller, USA (November 16-29, 1944)

MillerAndrewAndrew Miller was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin on August 11, 1916. He was employed in dairy farming when, on June 27, 1942, he was drafted into the United States Army for service in World War II. He was a member of the 95th Infantry Division, which spent over two years in training preparing for combat in Europe. Miller went overseas with the division, which joined the fight in France on October 19, 1944.

Over a two week period from November 16-29, 1944 in both France and Germany, then-Staff Sergeant Miller was both a squad leader and a one-man army as part of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 377th Infantry Regiment. He repeatedly led his men in the attack, and when the circumstances of battle required, attacked alone. His incredible courage and leadership inspired his men from victory to victory and was recognized the following fall with the Medal of Honor.

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

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)

*MILLER, ANDREW

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company G, 377th Infantry, 95th Infantry Division. Place and date: From Woippy, France, through Metz to Kerprich Hemmersdorf, Germany, 16-29 November 1944. Entered service at: Two Rivers, Wis. G.O. No.: 74, 1 September 1945

Citation: For performing a series of heroic deeds from 1629 November 1944, during his company’s relentless drive from Woippy, France, through Metz to Kerprich Hemmersdorf, Germany. As he led a rifle squad on 16 November at Woippy, a crossfire from enemy machineguns pinned down his unit. Ordering his men to remain under cover, he went forward alone, entered a building housing 1 of the guns and forced 5 Germans to surrender at bayonet point. He then took the second gun single-handedly by hurling grenades into the enemy position, killing 2, wounding 3 more, and taking 2 additional prisoners. At the outskirts of Metz the next day, when his platoon, confused by heavy explosions and the withdrawal of friendly tanks, retired, he fearlessly remained behind armed with an automatic rifle and exchanged bursts with a German machine gun until he silenced the enemy weapon. His quick action in covering his comrades gave the platoon time to regroup and carry on the fight. On 19 November S/Sgt. Miller led an attack on large enemy barracks. Covered by his squad, he crawled to a barracks window, climbed in and captured 6 riflemen occupying the room. His men, and then the entire company, followed through the window, scoured the building, and took 75 prisoners. S/Sgt. Miller volunteered, with 3 comrades, to capture Gestapo officers who were preventing the surrender of German troops in another building. He ran a gauntlet of machinegun fire and was lifted through a window. Inside, he found himself covered by a machine pistol, but he persuaded the 4 Gestapo agents confronting him to surrender. Early the next morning, when strong hostile forces punished his company with heavy fire, S/Sgt. Miller assumed the task of destroying a well-placed machinegun. He was knocked down by a rifle grenade as he climbed an open stairway in a house, but pressed on with a bazooka to find an advantageous spot from which to launch his rocket. He discovered that he could fire only from the roof, a position where he would draw tremendous enemy fire. Facing the risk, he moved into the open, coolly took aim and scored a direct hit on the hostile emplacement, wreaking such havoc that the enemy troops became completely demoralized and began surrendering by the score. The following day, in Metz, he captured 12 more prisoners and silenced an enemy machinegun after volunteering for a hazardous mission in advance of his company’s position. On 29 November, as Company G climbed a hill overlooking Kerprich Hemmersdorf, enemy fire pinned the unit to the ground. S/Sgt. Miller, on his own initiative, pressed ahead with his squad past the company’s leading element to meet the surprise resistance. His men stood up and advanced deliberately, firing as they went. Inspired by S/Sgt. Miller’s leadership, the platoon followed, and then another platoon arose and grimly closed with the Germans. The enemy action was smothered, but at the cost of S/Sgt. Miller’s life. His tenacious devotion to the attack, his gallant choice to expose himself to enemy action rather than endanger his men, his limitless bravery, assured the success of Company G.

Staff Sergeant Andrew Miller was the sole Medal of Honor recipient of the 95th Infantry Division. He today rests in peace among 10,488 of his comrades-in-arms in the Lorraine American Cemetery in St. Avold, France.

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