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First Name: Francis

Last Name: McGraw

Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Camden, NJ
Middle Name: Xavier

Date of Birth: 29 April 1918

Date of Death: 19 November 1944

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1942 - 1944
Francis Xavier McGraw

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Francis X. McGraw

Private First Class, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Private First Class Francis Xavier McGraw (29 April 1918 - 19 November 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.

Francis X. McGraw was born on 29 April 1918 in Philadelphia, PA. He joined the Army from Camden, NJ. On 19 November 1944, he was serving as a Private First Class in Company H, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. During a German counterattack that day near Schevenhütte, Germany, he manned his machine gun despite intense enemy fire and left cover in order to retrieve more ammunition. Although wounded, he continued to fire his machine gun until again running out of ammunition. He then engaged the German troops with a carbine and was killed. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company H, 26th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Schevenhutte, Germany, 19 November 1944.

Citation: He manned a heavy machinegun emplaced in a foxhole near Schevenhutte, Germany, on 19 November 1944, when the enemy launched a fierce counterattack. Braving an intense hour-long preparatory barrage, he maintained his stand and poured deadly accurate fire into the advancing foot troops until they faltered and came to a halt. The hostile forces brought up a machinegun in an effort to dislodge him but were frustrated when he lifted his gun to an exposed but advantageous position atop a log, courageously stood up in his foxhole and knocked out the enemy weapon. A rocket blasted his gun from position, but he retrieved it and continued firing. He silenced a second machinegun and then made repeated trips over fire-swept terrain to replenish his ammunition supply. Wounded painfully in this dangerous task, he disregarded his injury and hurried back to his post, where his weapon was showered with mud when another rocket barely missed him. In the midst of the battle, with enemy troops taking advantage of his predicament to press forward, he calmly cleaned his gun, put it back into action and drove off the attackers. He continued to fire until his ammunition was expended, when, with a fierce desire to close with the enemy, he picked up a carbine, killed 1 enemy soldier, wounded another and engaged in a desperate firefight with a third until he was mortally wounded by a burst from a machine pistol. The extraordinary heroism and intrepidity displayed by Pvt. McGraw inspired his comrades to great efforts and was a major factor in repulsing the enemy attack.


The United States Army ship USAT Private Francis X. McGraw which served from 1946 to 1950 was named in his honor.

The McGraw Kaserne in Munich has been named after him.

Death and Burial

Private First Class Francis X. McGraw was killed in action on 19 November 1944. He is buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium, in Plot A, Row 18, Grave 25.

Honoree ID: 1531   Created by: MHOH




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