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First Name: John

Last Name: Magrath

Birthplace: East Norwalk, CT, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: East Norwalk, CT
Middle Name: David

Date of Birth: 24 July 1924

Date of Death: 14 April 1945

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1943 - 1945
John David Magrath

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


John David Magrath

Private First Class, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Private First Class John David Magrath (4 July 1924 - 14 April 1945) 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 and sacrifice of life during World War II. PFC John D. Magrath was the first Medal of Honor recipient of the 10th Mountain Division.

John David Magrath was born on 4 July 1924 in the East Norwalk section of Norwalk, CT; he also enlisted in the Army at East Norwalk. On 14 April 1945, he was a Private First Class assigned to Company G, 85th Infantry, 10th Mountain Division. Near Castel d'Aiano, Italy, that day his heroic actions were of great value to his unit and he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company G, 85th Infantry, 10th Mountain Division.

Place and date: Near Castel d'Aiano, Italy, 14 April 1945.

Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty when his company was pinned down by heavy artillery, mortar, and small arms fire, near Castel d'Aiano, Italy. Volunteering to act as a scout, armed with only a rifle, he charged headlong into withering fire, killing 2 Germans and wounding 3 in order to capture a machinegun. Carrying this enemy weapon across an open field through heavy fire, he neutralized 2 more machinegun nests; he then circled behind 4 other Germans, killing them with a burst as they were firing on his company. Spotting another dangerous enemy position to this right, he knelt with the machinegun in his arms and exchanged fire with the Germans until he had killed 2 and wounded 3. The enemy now poured increased mortar and artillery fire on the company's newly won position. Pfc. Magrath fearlessly volunteered again to brave the shelling in order to collect a report of casualties. Heroically carrying out this task, he made the supreme sacrifice--a climax to the valor and courage that are in keeping with highest traditions of the military service.


The Shea-Magrath Sports Complex at Norwalk High School in Connecticut is named for him.

In June 1995, Fort Drum, NY, re-named its Soldiers Sports Complex the John D. Magrath Gymnasium. A plaque and portrait at Magrath Gym honor his memory.

Death and Burial

Private First Class John David Magrath was killed in action on 14 April 1945. He is buried at Riverside Cemetery in Norwalk, CT, in Section 20, Plot 185.

Honoree ID: 1510   Created by: MHOH




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