Harvey Possinger

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Harvey Possinger
Born (1921-01-01)January 1, 1921
Akron, Ohio
Died May 25, 2006(2006-05-25) (aged 85)
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1942–1945
Rank Technician Fourth Grade
Unit B Company, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Division
Battles/wars Guadalcanal, Northern Solomons, Philippines
Awards Distinguished Service Cross

Harvey Possinger was the second most highly decorated US veteran of World War II.[1] He received every medal for valor in combat except for the Medal of Honor which was promised to him by General Douglas MacArthur. However, his paperwork was lost and he never received the medal.[2]

Military career[edit]

Drafted in April 1942, he was able to skip basic training due to civilian military training and left the Continental United States in May. Possinger was assigned to B Company, 35th Infantry Regiment, of the 25th Infantry Division.

The 25th Infantry was called into Guadalcanal to relieve the 1st Marine Division in November. Possinger, along with the rest of his unit, arrived at Guadalcanal on December 17, 1942. After weeks of heavy fighting, the island was secure. This was the first major victory for American forces and the first piece of real estate the U.S. took back from Japan.

The next mission for the 35th Infantry (dubbed “The Cacti”) was to seize and secure the island of Vella Lavella in the Northern Solomons. They made their assault on the island on August 15, 1943 and had it secure by September 18 of the same year. Possinger was wounded three times on Vella Lavalla and was awarded the Bronze Star for his heroic actions throughout the campaign in the Northern Solomons.

Next up was the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Possinger was hit in the left arm and on March 8, 1945 he was wounded for the fifth and final time; this time he took a bullet to the chest at Belete Pass. He was hit trying to save his buddies who were ambushed. They sent Possinger home after that, saying it was because he was to receive the Medal of Honor.

Awards and decorations[edit]

Distinguished Service Cross Citation[edit]


  1. ^ Ryan-Mercer, Beti. "Harvey Possinger". Veterans Tribute. 
  2. ^ Catherine Rodriguez and Eric Mark (May 27, 2006). "World War II hero Harvey Possinger dies". Pocono Record. Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Retrieved 3 July 2010.