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First Name: Robert

Last Name: Maxwell

Birthplace: Boise, ID, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Larimer County, CO
Middle Name: Dale

Date of Birth: 26 October 1920

Date of Death: 11 May 2019

Rank: Technician Fifth Grade

Years Served: 1942 - 1945
Robert Dale Maxwell

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Robert Dale Maxwell

Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Technician Fifth Grade Robert Dale Maxwell is a former U.S. Army soldier and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II.

Update: Robert Dale Maxwell went back to school to finish his education and earned his high school diploma from Bend High School in June 2011. Even at age 90, his classmates thought he was very cool and they were honored to have him in their class.

Robert Dale Maxwell was born on 26 October 1920 in Boise, ID. He joined the Army from Larimer County, CO, in 1942. On 7 September 1944, he was serving as a Technician Fifth Grade in the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. Near Besançon in Eastern France that day, Maxwell covered the blast of an enemy hand grenade with his body to protect those around him. He survived his wounds and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army, 7th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Besancon, France, 7 September 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 7 September 1944, near Besancon, France. Technician 5th Grade Maxwell and 3 other soldiers, armed only with .45 caliber automatic pistols, defended the battalion observation post against an overwhelming onslaught by enemy infantrymen in approximately platoon strength, supported by 20mm. flak and machinegun fire, who had infiltrated through the battalion's forward companies and were attacking the observation post with machinegun, machine pistol, and grenade fire at ranges as close as 10 yards. Despite a hail of fire from automatic weapons and grenade launchers, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell aggressively fought off advancing enemy elements and, by his calmness, tenacity, and fortitude, inspired his fellows to continue the unequal struggle. When an enemy hand grenade was thrown in the midst of his squad, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell unhesitatingly hurled himself squarely upon it, using his blanket and his unprotected body to absorb the full force of the explosion. This act of instantaneous heroism permanently maimed Technician 5th Grade Maxwell, but saved the lives of his comrades in arms and facilitated maintenance of vital military communications during the temporary withdrawal of the battalion's forward headquarters.

Maxwell resided in Bend, Oregon, and was the last Medal of Honor recipient in that state to die. He died in Bend on May 11, 2019, at the age of 98.

Honoree ID: 1517   Created by: MHOH




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