James H. Fields was born in Caddo, Texas on July 26, 1920. He later lived in Houston, graduating from Lamar High School. Fields was drafted into the United States Army for World War II service on February 26, 1942 at age 21. He later received an officer’s commission in the Armor Branch.
In addition to Staff Sergeant George D. Keathley, there were three other Medals of Honor awarded for heroism in Europe on September 14, 1944. The American heroes who earned them were First Lieutenant Edgar H. Lloyd, Sergeant Joseph J. Sadowski, and Second Lieutenant Thomas W. Wigle.