May 28, 2012

Memorial Day, 2012 ::

There's this little country cemetery near where I live and where I often stop in to take a photograph. Here is one of the footstones:

bolden_04_11_4.jpg

During WWII Sgt. Bolden was a foot soldier in Belgium when his platoon came across a house full of German soldiers and they were pinned down by enemy fire. Bolden attacked the enemy position and was severely wounded in the failed attempt, but he tried again even given his wounds and this time he was successful.

His Medal Of Honor citation states:

He voluntarily attacked a formidable enemy strong point in Petit-Coo, Belgium, on 23 December 1944, when his company was pinned down by extremely heavy automatic and small-arms fire coming from a house 200 yards to the front. Mortar and tank artillery shells pounded the unit, when S/Sgt. Bolden and a comrade, on their own initiative, moved forward into a hail of bullets to eliminate the ever-increasing fire from the German position. Crawling ahead to close with what they knew was a powerfully armed, vastly superior force, the pair reached the house and took up assault positions, S/Sgt. Bolden under a window, his comrade across the street where he could deliver covering fire. In rapid succession, S/Sgt. Bolden hurled a fragmentation grenade and a white phosphorus grenade into the building; and then, fully realizing that he faced tremendous odds, rushed to the door, threw it open and fired into 35 SS troopers who were trying to reorganize themselves after the havoc wrought by the grenades. Twenty Germans died under fire of his submachinegun before he was struck in the shoulder, chest, and stomach by part of a burst which killed his comrade across the street. He withdrew from the house, waiting for the surviving Germans to come out and surrender. When none appeared in the doorway, he summoned his ebbing strength, overcame the extreme pain he suffered and boldly walked back into the house, firing as he went. He had killed the remaining 15 enemy soldiers when his ammunition ran out. S/Sgt. Bolden's heroic advance against great odds, his fearless assault, and his magnificent display of courage in reentering the building where he had been severely wounded cleared the path for his company and insured the success of its mission.

Never forget the cost of war!


Posted by fdeaton at 3:58 AM | TrackBack