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First Name: Ernest

Last Name: Prussman

Birthplace: Baltimore, MD, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Brighton, MA
Middle Name: W.

Date of Birth: 1921

Date of Death: 08 September 1944

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1942 - 1944
Ernest W. Prussman

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Ernest W. Prussman

Private First Class, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Private First Class Ernest W. Prussman (1921 - 8 September 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 in World War II.

Ernest W. Prussman joined the Army from Brighton, MA. On 8 September 1944, he was serving as a Private First Class in the 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division. Near Loscoat (now an industrial district of Brest) in Brittany, France, that day, Prussman advanced ahead of his unit and single-handedly captured several enemy soldiers and destroyed a machine gun nest before being killed. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 13th Infantry, 8th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Les Coates, Brittany, France, 8 September 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 8 September 1944, near Les Coates, Brittany, France. When the advance of the flank companies of 2 battalions was halted by intense enemy mortar, machinegun, and sniper fire from a fortified position on his left, Pfc. Prussman maneuvered his squad to assault the enemy fortifications. Hurdling a hedgerow, he came upon 2 enemy riflemen whom he disarmed. After leading his squad across an open field to the next hedgerow, he advanced to a machinegun position, destroyed the gun, captured its crew and 2 riflemen. Again advancing ahead of his squad in the assault, he was mortally wounded by an enemy rifleman, but as he fell to the ground he threw a hand grenade, killing his opponent. His superb leadership and heroic action at the cost of his life so demoralized the enemy that resistance at this point collapsed, permitting the 2 battalions to continue their advance.

Death and Burial

Private First Class Ernest W. Prussman was killed in action on 8 September 1944. He is buried at the Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial in Saint-James, Basse-Normandie, France, in Plot A, Row 12, Grave 14.

Honoree ID: 1608   Created by: MHOH




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