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First Name: Joseph

Last Name: Sadowski

Birthplace: Perth Amboy, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Perth Amboy, NJ
Middle Name: John

Date of Birth: 08 December 1917

Date of Death: 14 September 1944

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served: 1941 - 1944
Joseph John Sadowski

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Joseph John Sadowski

Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Sergeant Joseph John Sadowski (8 December 1917 - 14 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 during World War II.

Joseph J. Sadowski was born on 8 December 1917 in Perth Amboy, NJ; he also joined the Army from that city. On 14 September 1944, he was serving as a Sergeant in the 37th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division. In Valhey, France, that day, Sadowski's tank was disabled by enemy fire and burst into flames. He and his crew dismounted the vehicle, except for one man who was trapped inside the burning tank. Despite intense enemy fire, Sadowski returned to the tank and attempted to rescue the crewman, but was killed before he could do so. For his act of heroism he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 37th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division.

Place and date: Valhey, France, 14 September 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty at Valhey, France. On the afternoon of 14 September 1944, Sgt. Sadowski as a tank commander was advancing with the leading elements of Combat Command A, 4th Armored Division, through an intensely severe barrage of enemy fire from the streets and buildings of the town of Valhey. As Sgt. Sadowski's tank advanced through the hail of fire, it was struck by a shell from an 88-mm. gun fired at a range of 20 yards. The tank was disabled and burst into flames. The suddenness of the enemy attack caused confusion and hesitation among the crews of the remaining tanks of our forces. Sgt. Sadowski immediately ordered his crew to dismount and take cover in the adjoining buildings. After his crew had dismounted, Sgt. Sadowski discovered that 1 member of the crew, the bow gunner, had been unable to leave the tank. Although the tank was being subjected to a withering hail of enemy small-arms, bazooka, grenade, and mortar fire from the streets and from the windows of adjacent buildings, Sgt. Sadowski unhesitatingly returned to his tank and endeavored to pry up the bow gunner's hatch. While engaged in this attempt to rescue his comrade from the burning tank, he was cut down by a stream of machinegun fire which resulted in his death. The gallant and noble sacrifice of his life in the aid of his comrade, undertaken in the face of almost certain death, so inspired the remainder of the tank crews that they pressed forward with great ferocity and completely destroyed the enemy forces in this town without further loss to themselves. The heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Sgt. Sadowski, which resulted in his death, inspired the remainder of his force to press forward to victory, and reflect the highest tradition of the armed forces.


The Sadowski Field House at Fort Knox, KY, is named in his honor.

A monument to Sadowski was erected on the Parkway bearing his name in Perth Amboy, NJ, by the Society of Polish Combatants (Stowarzyszenie Polskich Kombatantow), Post 40.

In 1999, the citizens of Valhey, France, erected a monument honoring Sgt. Sadowski. In September 2009, ceremonies were held at the monument recognizing 65 years since Sgt. Sadowski's death. Colonel James Herbert (Jimmie) Leach, Company Commander in the 37th Tank Battalion at the time of Sgt. Sadowski's death, made remarks.

Death and Burial

Sergeant Joseph J. Sadowski was killed in action on 14 September 1944. He is buried at Saint Stephens Cemetery in Keasbey, NJ, in Section N, Lot 21.

Honoree ID: 1629   Created by: MHOH




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