William F. Leonard
|William F. Leonard|
August 9, 1913|
Lockport, New York
|Died||August 4, 1985
Lockport, New York
|Buried||Cold Springs Cemetery|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
||United States Army|
|Unit||Company C, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
President Barack Obama posthumously awarded him the Medal of Honor in a March 18, 2014, ceremony in the White House. The award resulted from a Defense Authorization Act which directed a review of all Jewish American and Hispanic American veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War who had been awarded lower-precedence valor awards to ensure that no prejudice was shown to those deserving the Medal of Honor. In Leonard's case, he had originally been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the United States' second-highest decoration for combat valor.
Medal of Honor Citation
Private First Class Leonard's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
Private First Class William F. Leonard distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Squad Leader in Company C, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy near St. Die, France on November 7, 1944. Private First Class Leonard’s platoon was reduced to eight men as a result of blistering artillery, mortar, machinegun, and rifle fire. Private First Class Leonard led the survivors in an assault over a hill covered by trees and shrubs which the enemy continuously swept with automatic weapons fire. Ignoring bullets which pierced his pack, Private First Class Leonard killed two snipers at ranges of fifty and seventy-five yards and engaged and destroyed a machinegun nest with grenades, killing its two-man crew. Though momentarily stunned by an exploding bazooka shell, Private First Class Leonard relentlessly advanced, ultimately knocking out a second machinegun nest and capturing the roadblock objective. Private First Class Leonard’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
Leonard's military decorations and awards include:
|Badge||Combat Infantryman Badge|
|1st row||Medal of Honor||Bronze Star Medal||Army Good Conduct Medal|
|2nd row||European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal w/bronze arrowhead device and one silver and three bronze service stars for the Sicily (Ground), Naples-Foggia (Ground), Anzio, Rome-Arno, Southern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe campaigns. Credited with three assault landings: Licata, 9-11 Jul 43; Anzio, 22-23 Jan 44 and Southern France 15-16 Aug 44 all per WDGO 70-45.||World War II Victory Medal||Army of Occupation Medal w/bronze clasp inscribed "Germany"|
|Unit Awards||Presidential Unit Citation w/one bronze oak leaf cluster
WDGO 18-45 for the period 6-7 Sep 44, and WDGO 44-45 for the period 22 Jan - 6 Feb 45, with the former only for 1st Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division as per Department of the Army Pamphlet 672-1 dated July 6, 1961, pages 82-83
DAGO 43-50 for the period 15 Aug 44 - 6 Feb 45, for 60th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division as per Department of the Army Pamphlet 672-1 dated July 6, 1961, pages 82-83
- Zremski, Jerry. "Lockport veteran to be posthumously awarded Medal of Honor". Buffalo News. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
- Find a Grave
- "Staff Sergeant William F. Leonard". Army.mil. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
- "World War II Army Enlistment Records, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration".
- Daniel Rothberg (2014-02-21). "Obama will award Medal of Honor to 24 overlooked Army veterans". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
- "Department of the Army Pamphlet 672-1" (PDF).
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