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First Name: Harold

Last Name: Garman

Birthplace: Fairfield, IL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Albion, IL
Middle Name: Alva

Date of Birth: 26 February 1918

Date of Death: 13 August 1992

Rank: Technician Fifth Grade

Years Served: 1942 - 1946
Harold Alva Garman

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Harold Alva Garman
Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Technician Fifth Grade Harold Alva Garman (26 February 1918 - 13 August 1992) was a U.S. Army soldier and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during World War II.

Harold Alva Garman was born on 26 February 1918 in Fairfield, IL. He joined the Army from Albion, IL. On 25 August 1944, he was a Private serving as a medic in Company B, 5th Medical Battalion, 5th Infantry Division. On that day, near Montereau, France, he participated in the evacuation of wounded soldiers across the Seine River. When a boat loaded with wounded came under fire from a German machine gun on the opposite bank, Garman dove into the river, swam into the machine gun fire to reach the boat and towed it to safety. For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company B, 5th Medical Battalion, 5th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Montereau, France, 25 August 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On 25 August 1944, in the vicinity of Montereau, France, the enemy was sharply contesting any enlargement of the bridgehead which our forces had established on the northern bank of the Seine River in this sector. Casualties were being evacuated to the southern shore in assault boats paddled by litter bearers from a medical battalion. Pvt. Garman, also a litter bearer in this battalion, was working on the friendly shore carrying the wounded from the boats to waiting ambulances. As 1 boatload of wounded reached midstream, a German machinegun suddenly opened fire upon it from a commanding position on the northern bank 100 yards away. All of the men in the boat immediately took to the water except 1 man who was so badly wounded he could not rise from his litter. Two other patients who were unable to swim because of their wounds clung to the sides of the boat. Seeing the extreme danger of these patients, Pvt. Garman without a moment's hesitation plunged into the Seine. Swimming directly into a hail of machinegun bullets, he rapidly reached the assault boat and then while still under accurately aimed fire towed the boat with great effort to the southern shore. This soldier's moving heroism not only saved the lives of the three patients but so inspired his comrades that additional assault boats were immediately procured and the evacuation of the wounded resumed. Pvt. Garman's great courage and his heroic devotion to the highest tenets of the Medical Corps may be written with great pride in the annals of the corps.

Garman reached the rank of Technician Fifth Grade before leaving the Army.

He married Mary I. Jones and had two children, Steven and Sherry.

Death and Burial

Harold Alva Garman died at age 74 on 13 August 1992. He is buried at Samaria Baptist Church in Albion, IL.

Honoree ID: 1404   Created by: MHOH




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