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First Name: Joseph

Last Name: Muller

Birthplace: Holyoke, MA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: New York City, NY
Middle Name: E.

Date of Birth: 23 June 1908

Date of Death: 16 May 1945

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served: 1942 - 1945
Joseph E. Muller

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Joseph E. Muller

Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Sergeant Joseph E. Muller (23 June 1908 - 16 May 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 during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.

Joseph E. Muller was born on 23 June 1908 in Holyoke, MA. He joined the Army from New York City. On 15 May 1945, he was serving as a Sergeant in Company B, 305th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division. During a battle for a ridge near Ishimmi on Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands that day, he exposed himself to enemy fire and charged the Japanese positions alone. The next morning, when Japanese soldiers made an attempt to re-take the ridge, Muller again charged and routed them. When one of the Japanese soldiers threw a hand grenade into his foxhole, he threw himself onto the device to protect two of his comrades. He died in the resulting explosion and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his self-sacrifice.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 305th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Ishimmi, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 15-16 May 1945.

Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. When his platoon was stopped by deadly fire from a strongly defended ridge, he directed men to points where they could cover his attack. Then through the vicious machinegun and automatic fire, crawling forward alone, he suddenly jumped up, hurled his grenades, charged the enemy, and drove them into the open where his squad shot them down. Seeing enemy survivors about to man a machinegun, He fired his rifle at point-blank range, hurled himself upon them, and killed the remaining 4. Before dawn the next day, the enemy counterattacked fiercely to retake the position. Sgt. Muller crawled forward through the flying bullets and explosives, then leaping to his feet, hurling grenades and firing his rifle, he charged the Japs and routed them. As he moved into his foxhole shared with 2 other men, a lone enemy, who had been feigning death, threw a grenade. Quickly seeing the danger to his companions, Sgt. Muller threw himself over it and smothered the blast with his body. Heroically sacrificing his life to save his comrades, he upheld the highest traditions of the military service.

Death and Burial

Sergeant Joseph E. Muller was killed in action on 16 May 1945. He is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, HI, in Section N, Grave 1259.

Honoree ID: 1555   Created by: MHOH




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