February 5, 1895|
|Died||January 10, 1976(aged 80)|
|Place of burial||Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, New York|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1917 - 1919|
|Rank||Private First Class|
|Unit||107th Infantry Regiment, 27th Division|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
Michael Valente (February 5, 1895 – January 10, 1976) was a United States Army soldier who served in World War I. He received the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in France on September 29, 1918.
Born on February 5, 1895, in Cassino, Italy, Valente immigrated to the United States and joined the Army in 1917 from Ogdensburg, New York. By September 29, 1918, he was serving in France as a private with Company D of the 107th Infantry Regiment, 27th Division. On that day, his unit was participating in an assault on the Hindenburg Line east of Ronssoy when they were held up by intense machine gun fire. With another man, Valente voluntarily moved forward and silenced two machine gun nests, attacked a trench, and killed five Germans and captured 21 others before being wounded. For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor a decade later, in 1929.
Medal of Honor citation
Valente's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy during the operations against the Hindenburg line, east of Ronssoy, France, 29 September 1918. Finding the advance of his organization held up by a withering enemy machinegun fire, Pvt. Valente volunteered to go forward. With utter disregard of his own personal danger, accompanied by another soldier, Pvt. Valente rushed forward through an intense machinegun fire directly upon the enemy nest, killing 2 and capturing 5 of the enemy and silencing the gun. Discovering another machinegun nest close by which was pouring a deadly fire on the American forces, preventing their advance, Pvt. Valente and his companion charged upon this strong point, killing the gunner and putting this machinegun out of action. Without hesitation they jumped into the enemy's trench, killed 2 and captured 16 German soldiers. Pvt. Valente was later wounded and sent to the rear.