Edward A. Silk

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Edward A. Silk
Born (1916-06-08)June 8, 1916
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Died November 18, 1955(1955-11-18) (aged 39)
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Unit 398th Infantry Regiment, 100th Infantry Division
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Medal of Honor
Silver Star

Edward A. Silk (June 8, 1916 – November 18, 1955) was a United States Army officer and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.

Silk joined the Army from his birth city of Johnstown, Pennsylvania in April 1941,[1] and by November 23, 1944 was serving as a first lieutenant in Company E, 398th Infantry Regiment, 100th Infantry Division. On that day, near St. Pravel, France, he single-handedly attacked a German-held farmhouse and captured the soldiers inside. He was awarded the Medal of Honor a year later, on November 1, 1945.

Silk reached the rank of lieutenant colonel before leaving the Army. He died at age 39 from complications from a peptic ulcer[2] and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington County, Virginia.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Silk's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

1st Lt. Edward A. Silk commanded the weapons platoon of Company E, 398th Infantry, on 23 November 1944, when the end battalion was assigned the mission of seizing high ground overlooking Moyenmoutier, France, prior to an attack on the city itself. His company jumped off in the lead at dawn and by noon had reached the edge of a woods in the vicinity of St. Pravel where scouts saw an enemy sentry standing guard before a farmhouse in a valley below. One squad, engaged in reconnoitering the area, was immediately pinned down by intense machinegun and automatic-weapons fire from within the house. Skillfully deploying his light machinegun section, 1st Lt. Silk answered enemy fire, but when 15 minutes had elapsed with no slackening of resistance, he decided to eliminate the strong point by a one-man attack. Running 100 yards across an open field to the shelter of a low stone wall directly in front of the farmhouse, he fired into the door and windows with his carbine; then, in full view of the enemy, vaulted the wall and dashed 50 yards through a hail of bullets to the left side of the house, where he hurled a grenade through a window, silencing a machinegun and killing 2 gunners. In attempting to move to the right side of the house he drew fire from a second machinegun emplaced in the woodshed. With magnificent courage he rushed this position in the face of direct fire and succeeded in neutralizing the weapon and killing the 2 gunners by throwing grenades into the structure. His supply of grenades was by now exhausted, but undaunted, he dashed back to the side of the farmhouse and began to throw rocks through a window, demanding the surrender of the remaining enemy. Twelve Germans, overcome by his relentless assault and confused by his unorthodox methods, gave up to the lone American. By his gallant willingness to assume the full burden of the attack and the intrepidity with which he carried out his extremely hazardous mission, 1st Lt. Silk enabled his battalion to continue its advance and seize its objective.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ WWII Army Enlistment Records
  2. ^ NY Times. COL. EDWARD SILK, WAR HERO,IS DEAD. November 19, 1955