27 April 2008

Medal of Honor: C. L. Thomas


First Lieutenant, US Army; Company C, 614th Tank Destroyer Battalion (Towed)

Born: 1920
Died: 15 February 1980, Detroit, Mich.

Citation: For extraordinary heroism on December 14, 1944, near Climbach, France. LT. Thomas armored scout car was subjected to intense enemy artillery, self-propelled gun, and small arms fire. Wounded by the initial burst of hostile fire, LT. Thomas signaled the remainder of the column to halt and despite the severity of his wounds, assisted the crew to obtaining cover. Upon leaving the scant protection which the vehicle afforded, LT. Thomas again was subjected to a hail of enemy fire which inflicted multiple gunshot wounds in his chest, legs, and left arm. Despite the intense pain LT. Thomas ordered and directed the dispersion and emplacement of two antitank guns which effectively returned the enemy fire. He refused to be evacuated until he was certain his junior officer was in full control of the situation.

Note: Lieutenant (later Major) Thomas was originally awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. This was upgraded later to the Medal of Honor, and the medal was presented posthumously on 13 Jan 1997 by President Clinton.

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