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First Name: Peter

Last Name: Dalessondro

Birthplace: Watervliet, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Watervliet, NY
Middle Name: Joseph

Date of Birth: 18 May 1918

Date of Death: 15 October 1997

Rank: Technical Sergeant

Years Served:
Peter Joseph Dalessondro

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Peter Joseph Dalessondro
Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Technical Sergeant Peter Joseph Dalessondro (18 May 1918 - 15 October 1997) was a U.S. Army soldier who earned the U.S. military's highest honor for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions occurring in the European Theatre of Operations during World War II.

Peter Joseph Dalessondro was born on 18 May 1918 in Watervliet, NY. He also entered the U.S. Army at Watervliet. On 22 December 1944, he was a Technical Sergeant serving with Company E, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division, near Kalterherberg, Germany. In an all-out attack by German soldiers that occurred that day, Dalessondro's heroism saved his company from a complete rout by the enemy. He was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company E, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Kalterherberg, Germany, 22 December 1944.

Citation: He was with the 1st Platoon holding an important road junction on high ground near Kalterherberg, Germany, on 22 December 1944. In the early morning hours, the enemy after laying down an intense artillery and mortar barrage, followed through with an all-out attack that threatened to overwhelm the position. T/Sgt. Dalessondro, seeing that his men were becoming disorganized, braved the intense fire to move among them with words of encouragement. Advancing to a fully exposed observation post, he adjusted mortar fire upon the attackers, meanwhile firing upon them with his rifle and encouraging his men in halting and repulsing the attack. Later in the day the enemy launched a second determined attack. Once again, T/Sgt. Dalessondro, in the face of imminent death, rushed to his forward position and immediately called for mortar fire. After exhausting his rifle ammunition, he crawled 30 yards over exposed ground to secure a light machinegun, returned to his position, and fired upon the enemy at almost pointblank range until the gun jammed. He managed to get the gun to fire 1 more burst, which used up his last round, but with these bullets he killed 4 German soldiers who were on the verge of murdering an aid man and 2 wounded soldiers in a nearby foxhole. When the enemy had almost surrounded him, he remained alone, steadfastly facing almost certain death or capture, hurling grenades and calling for mortar fire closer and closer to his outpost as he covered the withdrawal of his platoon to a second line of defense. As the German hordes swarmed about him, he was last heard calling for a barrage, saying, "OK, mortars, let me have it--right in this position!" The gallantry and intrepidity shown by T/Sgt. Dalessondro against an overwhelming enemy attack saved his company from complete rout.

While the citation seems to suggest that Technical Sergeant Dalessondro was killed in the engagement in which he won the MOH, he was actually captured during the battle and spent the rest of the war as a Prisoner of War.

Dalessondro was presented with his Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman at the White House on 23 August 1945.

After returning home a war hero, Dalessondro was elected as a Democrat to the New York State Senate in 1947, representing the 35th district from 1947 to 1954 and the 36th from 1955 until his resignation in 1957. He was a member of the American Legion, Catholic War Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Elks.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Silver Star Medal
Purple Heart


A portion of County Route 151 alongside Albany International Airport has been named in his honor in Colonie, NY.

A Peter J. Dalessondro Memorial is located at Memorial Park at the corner of Second Avenue and Sixteenth Street in his hometown of Watervliet, NY.

Death and Burial

Technical Sergeant Peter Joseph Dalessondro died on 15 October 1997. He is buried at Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville, Saratoga County, NY, in Section G-12, Lot 1.

Honoree ID: 1354   Created by: MHOH




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