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First Name: Eric

Last Name: Gibson

Birthplace: Nysund, SWE

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Chicago, IL
Middle Name: Gunnar

Date of Birth: 03 October 1919

Date of Death: 28 January 1944

Rank: Technician Fifth Grade

Years Served: 1941 - 1944
Eric Gunnar Gibson

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Eric Gunnar Gibson
Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Technician Fifth Grade Eric Gunnar Gibson (3 October 1919 - 28 January 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 heroic actions during World War II.

Eric Gunnar Gibson was born on 3 October 1919 in Nysund, Sweden. His family immigrated to the U.S. and Gibson joined the Army from Chicago, IL. On 28 January 1944, he was a Technician Fifth Grade serving as a cook in the 3rd Infantry Division. On that day near Isola Bella, Italy, he was placed in command of a squad during an advance down a streambed. Gibson led his men from the front, repeatedly advancing ahead of the squad and three times attacking German positions alone. He was killed while charging a fourth German position. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army, 3rd Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Isola Bella, Italy, 28 January 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On 28 January 1944, near Isola Bella, Italy, Tech. 5th Grade Gibson, company cook, led a squad of replacements through their initial baptism of fire, destroyed four enemy positions, killed 5 and captured 2 German soldiers, and secured the left flank of his company during an attack on a strongpoint. Placing himself 50 yards in front of his new men, Gibson advanced down the wide stream ditch known as the Fossa Femminamorta, keeping pace with the advance of his company. An enemy soldier allowed Tech. 5th Grade Gibson to come within 20 yards of his concealed position and then opened fire on him with a machine pistol. Despite the stream of automatic fire which barely missed him, Gibson charged the position, firing his submachine gun every few steps. Reaching the position, Gibson fired pointblank at his opponent, killing him. An artillery concentration fell in and around the ditch; the concussion from one shell knocked him flat. As he got to his feet Gibson was fired on by two soldiers armed with a machine pistol and a rifle from a position only 75 yards distant. Gibson immediately raced toward the foe. Halfway to the position a machinegun opened fire on him. Bullets came within inches of his body, yet Gibson never paused in his forward movement. He killed one and captured the other soldier. Shortly after, when he was fired upon by a heavy machinegun 200 yards down the ditch, Gibson crawled back to his squad and ordered it to lay down a base of fire while he flanked the emplacement. Despite all warning, Gibson crawled 125 yards through an artillery concentration and the cross fire of 2 machineguns which showered dirt over his body, threw 2 hand grenades into the emplacement and charged it with his submachine gun, killing 2 of the enemy and capturing a third. Before leading his men around a bend in the stream ditch, Gibson went forward alone to reconnoiter. Hearing an exchange of machine pistol and submachine gun fire, Gibson's squad went forward to find that its leader had run 35 yards toward an outpost, killed the machine pistol man, and had himself been killed while firing at the Germans.

Death and Burial

Technician Fifth Grade Eric Gunnar Gibson was killed in action on 28 January 1944. He is buried at Nora Cemetery in Rice Lake, WI. His parents had moved to Rice Lake while Gibson was serving in Europe.

Honoree ID: 1407   Created by: MHOH




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