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First Name: John

Last Name: Minick

Birthplace: Wall, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Carlisle, PA
Middle Name: W.

Date of Birth: 14 June 1908

Date of Death: 21 November 1944

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Years Served: 1943 - 1944
John W. Minick

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


John W. Minick

Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Staff Sergeant John W. Minick (14 June 1908 - 21 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 the Battle of Hurtgen Forest in World War II.

John W. Minick was born on 14 June 1908 in Wall, PA. He joined the Army from Carlisle, PA. On 21 November 1944, he was serving as a Staff Sergeant in Company I, 121st Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division. Near Hurtgen, Germany, that day, Minick voluntarily led a small group of men through a minefield, single-handedly silenced two enemy machine gun emplacements, and engaged a company-sized force of German soldiers before he was killed while crossing a second minefield. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 121st Infantry, 8th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Hurtgen, Germany, 21 November 1944.

Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, in action involving actual conflict with the enemy on 21 November 1944, near Hurtgen, Germany. S/Sgt. Minick's battalion was halted in its advance by extensive minefields, exposing troops to heavy concentrations of enemy artillery and mortar fire. Further delay in the advance would result in numerous casualties and a movement through the minefield was essential. Voluntarily, S/Sgt. Minick led 4 men through hazardous barbed wire and debris, finally making his way through the minefield for a distance of 300 yards. When an enemy machinegun opened fire, he signaled his men to take covered positions, edged his way alone toward the flank of the weapon and opened fire, killing 2 members of the gun crew and capturing 3 others. Moving forward again, he encountered and engaged single-handedly an entire company killing 20 Germans and capturing 20, and enabling his platoon to capture the remainder of the hostile group. Again moving ahead and spearheading his battalion's advance, he again encountered machinegun fire. Crawling forward toward the weapon, he reached a point from which he knocked the weapon out of action. Still another minefield had to be crossed. Undeterred, S/Sgt. Minick advanced forward alone through constant enemy fire and while thus moving, detonated a mine and was instantly killed.

Death and Burial

Staff Sergeant John W. Minick was killed in action on 21 November 1944. He is buried at Westminster Cemetery in Carlisle, PA, in Section F, Lot 304.

Honoree ID: 1546   Created by: MHOH




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