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First Name: Herbert

Last Name: Christian

Birthplace: Byersville, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Steubenville, OH
Middle Name: F.

Date of Birth: 18 June 1912

Date of Death: 03 June 1944

Rank: Private

Years Served: 1942 - 1944
Herbert F. Christian

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Herbert F. Christian
Private, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Private Herbert F. Christian (18 June 1912 - 3 June 1944) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during World War II.

Herbert F. Christian was born on 18 June 1912 in Byersville, OH. He joined the Army from Steubenville, OH. On 3 June 1944, he was serving as a Private in the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. In the early morning hours of that day near Valmontone, Italy, his patrol was ambushed by a numerically superior enemy force. Although grievously wounded - his right leg had been severed by hostile fire - he gestured to his fellow soldiers to withdraw and advanced on the enemy positions alone, firing as he went. Although mortally wounded in the attack, he successfully created a diversion which allowed his fellow soldiers to escape. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, 15th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Valmontone, Italy, 2-3 June 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On 2-3 June 1944, at 1 a.m., Pvt. Christian elected to sacrifice his life in order that his comrades might extricate themselves from an ambush. Braving massed fire of about 60 riflemen, 3 machineguns, and 3 tanks from positions only 30 yards distant, he stood erect and signaled to the patrol to withdraw. The whole area was brightly illuminated by enemy flares. Although his right leg was severed above the knee by cannon fire, Pvt. Christian advanced on his left knee and the bloody stump of his right thigh, firing his submachine gun. Despite excruciating pain, Pvt. Christian continued on his self-assigned mission. He succeeded in distracting the enemy and enabled his 12 comrades to escape. He killed 3 enemy soldiers almost at once. Leaving a trail of blood behind him, he made his way forward 20 yards, halted at a point within 10 yards of the enemy, and despite intense fire killed a machine-pistol man. Reloading his weapon, he fired directly into the enemy position. The enemy appeared enraged at the success of his ruse, concentrated 20-mm. machinegun, machine-pistol and rifle fire on him, yet he refused to seek cover. Maintaining his erect position, Pvt. Christian fired his weapon to the very last. Just as he emptied his submachine gun, the enemy bullets found their mark and Pvt. Christian slumped forward dead. The courage and spirit of self-sacrifice displayed by this soldier were an inspiration to his comrades and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the armed forces.

Death and Burial

Private Herbert F. Christian was killed in action on 3 June 1944. He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in his birth place of Byesville, OH.

Honoree ID: 1333   Created by: MHOH




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