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First Name: Thomas

Last Name: Atkins

Birthplace: Campobello, SC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Campobello, SC
Middle Name: Eugene

Date of Birth: 02 February 1921

Date of Death: 15 September 1999

Rank: Corporal

Years Served: 1942 - 1945
Thomas Eugene Atkins

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Thomas Eugene Atkins
Corporal, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Corporal Thomas Eugene Atkins (2 February 1921 - 15 September 1999) was a U.S. Army soldier who received the Medal of Honor for actions in World War II during the Philippines Campaign of 1945.

Atkins was born in Campobello, SC, on 2 February 1921; he also entered the Army there.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 127th Infantry, 32nd Infantry Division.

Place and date: Villa Verde Trail, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 10 March 1945.

Citation: He fought gallantly on the Villa Verde Trail, Luzon, The Philippine Islands. With 2 companions he occupied a position on a ridge outside the perimeter defense established by the 1st Platoon on a high hill. At about 3 a.m., 2 companies of Japanese attacked with rifle and machinegun fire, grenades, TNT charges, and land mines, severely wounding Pfc. Atkins and killing his 2 companions. Despite the intense hostile fire and pain from his deep wound, he held his ground and returned heavy fire. After the attack was repulsed, he remained in his precarious position to repel any subsequent assaults instead of returning to the American lines for medical treatment. An enemy machinegun, set up within 20 yards of his foxhole, vainly attempted to drive him off or silence his gun. The Japanese repeatedly made fierce attacks, but for 4 hours, Pfc. Atkins determinedly remained in his fox hole, bearing the brunt of each assault and maintaining steady and accurate fire until each charge was repulsed. At 7 a.m., 13 enemy dead lay in front of his position; he had fired 400 rounds, all he and his 2 dead companions possessed, and had used 3 rifles until each had jammed too badly for further operation. He withdrew during a lull to secure a rifle and more ammunition, and was persuaded to remain for medical treatment. While waiting, he saw a Japanese within the perimeter and, seizing a nearby rifle, killed him. A few minutes later, while lying on a litter, he discovered an enemy group moving up behind the platoon's lines. Despite his severe wound, he sat up, delivered heavy rifle fire against the group and forced them to withdraw. Pfc. Atkins' superb bravery and his fearless determination to hold his post against the main force of repeated enemy attacks, even though painfully wounded, were major factors in enabling his comrades to maintain their lines against a numerically superior enemy force.

Atkins retired from the U.S. Army and settled in his home town of Campobello, SC, where he eventually became a farmer.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart

Death and Burial

Thomas Eugene Atkins died on 15 September 1999. He is buried at Fellowship Baptist Church Cemetery in Inman, Spartanburg County, SC.

Honoree ID: 1273   Created by: MHOH




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