Seventy years ago today – May 28, 1945 – during the Battle of Okinawa, then-Staff Sergeant Eugene J. Bigda of Company B, 1st Battalion, 106th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division, United States Army single handedly fought both the Japanese and deplorable weather conditions while single-handedly destroying an enemy machine gun post. He was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
The United States Army‘s 27th Infantry Division was known as “O’Ryan’s Roughnecks” for its World War I commander, Major General John F. O’Ryan. For service in World War II, the New York National Guard’s 105th Infantry Regiment was federalized on October 15, 1940 into the active Army.
The three recipients were Thomas A. Baker, William J. O’Brien, and Ben L. Salomon.