Raymond Zussman

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Raymond Zussman
Born(1917-07-23)July 23, 1917
Hamtramck, Michigan
DiedSeptember 21, 1944(1944-09-21) (aged 27)
Place of burial
Machpelah Cemetery, Ferndale, Michigan
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1941–1944
RankSecond Lieutenant
Unit756th Tank Battalion
Battles/warsWorld War II

Raymond Zussman (July 23, 1917 – September 21, 1944) was a second lieutenant in the United States Army and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in France during World War II.


Zussman was born July 23, 1917 in Hamtramck, Michigan to Nathan Zussman and Rebecca Leah. Raymound Zussman had seven siblings and his father ran a shoe store.[1] Zussman as boy sang in his synagogue’s choir. He attended Central School in Detroit. A boy of small stature, Zussman joined the high school football team despite his coach's skepticism. After graduating from high school, Zussman joined Teamsters Local 337 in Detroit, eventually rising to the position of shop steward at his place of employment.[2] Zussman spent one year of college at Wayne State University and also took night classes in metallurgy.[1]

In September 1941, Zussman joined the US Army.[3] Prior to becoming a tank commander, Zussman was an instructor in street fighting at Fort Knox in Kentucky.[2] In June 1943, participated in the allied invasion of North Africa and after that the invasion of Italy. After being wounded at the battle of Monte Cassino in Italy, the Army offered Zussman a Headquarters position. Zussman told them he wanted another front line position and so he was assigned to a tank unit in France.[1]

By September 12, 1944, Zussman was serving as a second lieutenant, commanding tanks of the 756th Tank Battalion. On that day, during a battle in the city of Noroy-le-Bourg, France, Zussman repeatedly went forward alone to scout enemy positions and exposed himself to enemy fire while directing his tank's action.

On September 21, 1944, 11 days after the battle at Noroy-le-Bourg, Zussman was killed from a German mortar blast.[1]

On May 24, 1945, at a graduation ceremony at the United States Army Armor School (then located at Fort Knox) Zussman was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Noroy-le-Bourg. Zussman's father gave a thank you address to the graduating class.[1]

On June 6, 1949, Zussman was disinterred from a military cemetery and reburied in Machpelah Cemetery in Ferndale, Michigan.[4] The city government of Detroit wanted Zussman to lie in state at Detroit City Hall, but Zussman's distraught father declined the honor.[1]


In 1944, the U.S. Army launched Lt. Raymond Zussman (FS-246), a small wooden cargo ship named for Zussman.[5]

In 1997, the Army started work on Zussman Village, a military operations in urban terrain (MOUT) training center for urban warfare at Fort Knox.[6]

The Zussman Playground in Detroit is named after Raymond Zussman.[2]

Zussman Park located in front of City Hall in Hamtramck, Michigan, is named after Raymond Zussman.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Second Lieutenant Zussman's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

On 12 September 1944, 2d Lt. Zussman was in command of 2 tanks operating with an infantry company in the attack on enemy forces occupying the town of Noroy le Bourg, France. At 7 p.m., his command tank bogged down. Throughout the ensuing action, armed only with a carbine, he reconnoitered alone on foot far in advance of his remaining tank and the infantry. Returning only from time to time to designate targets, he directed the action of the tank and turned over to the infantry the numerous German soldiers he had caused to surrender. He located a road block and directed his tanks to destroy it. Fully exposed to fire from enemy positions only 50 yards distant, he stood by his tank directing its fire. Three Germans were killed and 8 surrendered. Again he walked before his tank, leading it against an enemy-held group of houses, machine gun and small arms fire kicking up dust at his feet. The tank fire broke the resistance and 20 enemy surrendered. Going forward again alone he passed an enemy-occupied house from which Germans fired on him and threw grenades in his path. After a brief fire fight, he signaled his tank to come up and fire on the house. Eleven German soldiers were killed and 15 surrendered. Going on alone, he disappeared around a street corner. The fire of his carbine could be heard and in a few minutes he reappeared driving 30 prisoners before him. Under 2d Lt. Zussman's heroic and inspiring leadership, 18 enemy soldiers were killed and 92 captured.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Zussman, Raymond (MOH), 2LT". Together We Served.com. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Raymond Zussman". Telling the Story of Detroit Parks. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  3. ^ WWII Army Enlistment Records
  4. ^ "Raymond Zussman". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved September 6, 2007.
  5. ^ "AFSC Historical Corner: Penguin II, Pribilof Islands Tender (1950–64)". NOAa Fisheries. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  6. ^ "Army Training Site Brings To Life the Horrors of War". National Defense. July 2001. Archived from the original on 14 July 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Medal of Honor recipients – World War II (T–Z)". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved September 6, 2007.

External links[edit]