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First Name: Richard

Last Name: Kraus

Birthplace: Chicago, IL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Minneapolis, MN
Middle Name: Edward

Date of Birth: 24 November 1925

Date of Death: 03 October 1944

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1943-1944
Richard Edward Kraus

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Richard Edward Kraus
Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Private First Class Richard Edward Kraus (24 November 1925 - 3 October 1944) was a U.S. Marine who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his self-sacrifice during World War II.

Richard Edward Kraus was born on 24 November 1925 in Chicago, IL, and moved to Minneapolis, MN, when he was seven. He attended Edison High School there and was inducted into the U.S. Marine Corps on his 18th birthday, after previously trying to enlist.

On 3 October 1944, Kraus was serving as an amphibious tractor driver with the 8th Amphibious Tractor Battalion, Fleet Marine Force, which participated in the D-Day landings on Peleliu. He and three companions had accepted a volunteer mission to evacuate a wounded fellow Marine from the front lines. As the group made their way forward, they were met by an intense barrage of hand grenade fire, which forced them to take cover.

While returning to the rear, the stretcher party observed two men approaching who they believed were Marines. Upon challenging the pair, they proved to be Japanese, and one of the enemy responded by throwing a hand grenade into the midst of the group. PFC Kraus unhesitatingly hurled himself on top of it, and by his prompt action saved the lives of his three comrades. Private First Class Kraus had been overseas only three months at the time of the Peleliu battle, which was his first campaign. For his selfless act, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

Place and date: Peleliu, Palau Islands, 3 October 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 8th Amphibious Tractor Battalion, Fleet Marine Force, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu, Palau Islands, on 3 October 1944. Unhesitatingly volunteering for the extremely hazardous mission of evacuating a wounded comrade from the front lines, Pfc. Kraus and 3 companions courageously made their way forward and successfully penetrated the lines for some distance before the enemy opened with an intense, devastating barrage of hand grenades which forced the stretcher party to take cover and subsequently abandon the mission. While returning to the rear, they observed 2 men approaching who appeared to be marines and immediately demanded the password. When, instead of answering, 1 of the 2 Japanese threw a hand grenade into the midst of the group, Pfc. Kraus heroically flung himself upon the grenade and, covering it with his body, absorbed the full impact of the explosion and was instantly killed. By his prompt action and great personal valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved the lives of his 3 companions, and his loyal spirit of self-sacrifice reflects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his comrades.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart


Richard E. Kraus is one of three Minnesota Medal of Honor recipients from the Northeast Twin Cities who are named on the Anoka County Veteran's memorial at Bunker Hills Anoka County Park in Coon Rapids, MN. The other two are James D. La Belle and Richard K. Sorenson.

The United States Navy destroyer USS Richard E. Kraus (DD-849) was named in his honor.

Death and Burial

Private First Class Richard Edward Kraus was killed in action on 3 October 1944. He was initially buried in the U.S. Armed Forces Cemetery on Peleliu, Palau Islands. At his parents' request, in 1948 his remains were returned to the U.S. and re-interred at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Ft. Snelling, MN, in Section DS-61A.

Honoree ID: 1489   Created by: MHOH




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