Charles H. Coolidge

TECHNICAL SERGEANT CHARLES H. COOLIDGE, US ARMY
GENERAL ORDER NO: 53, JULY 1945

Charles H. Coolidge portrait

TECHNICAL SERGEANT CHARLES H. COOLIDGE, U.S. ARMY COMPANY M, 141ST INFANTRY, 36TH INFANTRY DIVISION. EAST OF BELMONT SUR BUTTANT, FRANCE ON 24-27 OCTOBER 1944 DISTINGUISHED HIMSELF WHILE LEADING A SECTION OF HEAVY MACHINEGUNS SUPPORTED BY 1 PLATOON OF COMPANY K. HE TOOK A POSITION NEAR HILL 623, EAST OF BELMONT SUR BUTTANT, FRANCE ON 24 OCTOBER 1944, WITH THE MISSION OF COVERING THE RIGHT FLANK OF THE THIRD BATTALION AND SUPPORTING ITS ACTION. T/SGT COOLIDGE WENT FORWARD WITH A SERGEANT OF COMPANY KTO RECONNOITER POSITIONS FOR COORDINATING THE FIRES OF THE LIGHT AND HEAVY MACHINEGUNS. THEY RAN INTO AN ENEMY FORCE IN THE WOODS ESTIMATED TO BE AN INFANTRY COMPANY. T/SGT COOLIDGE ATTEMPTING TO BLUFF THE GERMANS BY A SHOW OF ASSURANCE AND BOLDNESS CALLED UPON THEM TO SURRENDER, WHEREUPON THE ENEMY OPENED FIRE. WITH HIS CARBINE, T/SGT COOLIDGE WOUNDED 2 OF THEM. THERE BEING NO OFFICER PRESENT WITH THE FORCE, T/SGT COOLIDGE AT ONCE ASSUMED COMMAND. MANY OF THE MEN WERE REPLACEMENTS RECENTLY ARRIVED; THIS WAS THEIR FIRST EXPERIENCE UNDER FIRE. T/SGT COOLIDGE, UNMINDFUL OF THE ENEMY FIRE DELIVERED AT CLOSE RANGE, WALKED ALONG THE POSITION, CALMING AND ENCOURAGING HIS MEN AND DIRECTING THEIR FIRE. THE ATTACK WAS THROWN BACK. THROUGH 25 AND 26 OCTOBER, THE ENEMY LAUNCHED REPEATED ATTACKES AGAINST THE POSITION OF THIS COMBAT GROUP, BUT EACH WAS REPULSED DUE TO T/SGT COOLIDGE'S ABLE LEADERSHIP. ON 27 OCTOBER, GERMAN INFANTRY, SUPPORTED BY 2 TANKS, MADE A DETERMINED ATTACK ON THE POSITION. THE AREA WAS SWEPT BY ENEMY SMALL-ARMS, MACHINEGUN, AND TANK FIRE. T/SGT COOLIDGE ARMED HIMSELF WITH A BAZOOKA AND ADVANCED TO WITHIN 25 YARDS OF THE TANKS. HIS BAZOOKA FAILED TO FUNCTION AND HE THREW IT ASIDE. SECURING ALL THE HAND GRENADES HE COULD CARRY, HE CRAWLED FORWARD AND INFLICTED HEAVY CASUALTIES ON THE ADVANCING ENEMY. FINALLY IT BECAME APPARENT THAT THE ENEMY, IN GREATLY SUPERIOR FORCE, SUPPORTED BY TANKS, WOULD OVERRUN THE POSITION. T/SGT COOLIDGE DISPLAYING GREAT COOLNESS AND COURAGE, DIRECTED AND CONDUCTED AN ORDERLY WITHDRAWAL, BEING HIMSELF THE LAST TO LEAVE THE POSITION. AS A RESULT OF T/SGT COOLIDGE'S HEROIC AND SUPERIOR LEADERSHIP, THE MISSION OF THIS COMBAT GROUP WAS ACCOMPLISHED THROUGHOUT 4 DAYS OF CONTINUOUS FIGHTING AGAINST NUMERICALLY SUPERIOR ENEMY TROOPS IN RAIN AND COLD AND AMID DENSE WOODS.

ENTERED SERVICE: SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TENNESSEE
BORN : 4 AUGUST 1921
PLACE OF BIRTH : SIGNAL MOUNTAIN,TENNESSEE

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