John Joseph Parle

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John Joseph Parle
John J Parle.jpg
Born (1920-05-26)May 26, 1920
Omaha, Nebraska
Died July 10, 1943(1943-07-10) (aged 23)
Place of burial Holy Sepulchre Cemetery,
Omaha, Nebraska
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Naval Reserve
Years of service 1942 - 1943
Rank Ensign
Unit USS LST-375
Battles/wars World War II
Awards

Medal of Honor

Purple Heart

John Joseph Parle (May 26, 1920 – July 10, 1943) was a United States Naval Reserve officer and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II. Parle was a 1942 ROTC graduate of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

On July 9, 1943, Parle was serving as an ensign and was involved in the preparations for the Allied invasion of Sicily. On that day, he noticed a fire aboard a small boat loaded with explosives and ammunition. Knowing that an explosion would alert the defenders on Sicily of the impending invasion, he rushed to put out the fire. Although successful in dousing the flames, he later died of smoke inhalation.

Parle, aged 23 at his death, was buried at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in his birth city of Omaha, Nebraska.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Ensign Parle's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For valor and courage above and beyond the call of duty as Officer-in-Charge of Small Boats in the USS LST-375 during the amphibious assault on the island of Sicily, 9–10 July 1943. Realizing that a detonation of explosives would prematurely disclose to the enemy the assault about to be carried out, and with full knowledge of the peril involved, Ens. Parle unhesitatingly risked his life to extinguish a smoke pot accidentally ignited in a boat carrying charges of high explosives, detonating fuses and ammunition. Undaunted by fire and blinding smoke, he entered the craft, quickly snuffed out a burning fuse, and after failing in his desperate efforts to extinguish the fire pot, finally seized it with both hands and threw it over the side. Although he succumbed a week later from smoke and fumes inhaled, Ens. Parle's heroic self-sacrifice prevented grave damage to the ship and personnel and insured the security of a vital mission. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.

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