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First Name: Franklin

Last Name: Sigler

Birthplace: Glen Ridge, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Earl

Date of Birth: 06 November 1924

Date of Death: 20 January 1995

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1943-1946
Franklin Earl Sigler

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Franklin Earl Sigler

Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Private First Class Franklin Earl Sigler (6 November 1924 - 20 January 1995) was a U.S. Marine who received the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions in the Iwo Jima campaign during World War II.

Franklin Earl Sigler was born on 6 November 1924, in Glen Ridge, NJ. His parents had another son, William, in 1921and sometime between Franklin's birth and 2 April 1930, the family moved to Little Falls, NJ, where he attended Little Falls High School prior to his enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps.

On 23 March 1943, he joined the Marines and was sent to recruit training at Parris Island, SC. After graduating, he was sent to the Guard Company, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard in Charleston, SC, in June 1943. In April 1944, he joined Company F, 2nd Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, and in July, embarked aboard the USSĀ Clay for Hilo, HI. Sigler and his unit were only in Hawaii for a short time before they were sent to the South Pacific to participate in the Battle of Iwo Jima.

On 14 March 1945, the unit saw heavy combat on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands and Sigler's squad leaders were injured in the fighting. He took command of his squad and led them against a Japanese gun position that had been holding up the advance of his company for several days. He was the first to reach the gun position and personally annihilated the gun crew with hand grenades. When the Japanese began firing from tunnels and caves leading to the gun position, he scaled the rocks leading up to the position and single-handedly assaulted them, completely surprising them. Although wounded, he refused to be evacuated and, crawling back to his squad, directed machine-gun and rocket fire on the cave entrances. In the ensuing fight three of his men were wounded and Sigler, disregarding the pain from his wound and the heavy enemy fire, carried them to safety behind the lines. Returning to his squad he remained with his men directing their fire until ordered to retire and seek medical aid. For his actions during this battle he received the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 2d Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division.

Place and date: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 14 March 1945.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 2d Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands on 14 March 1945. Voluntarily taking command of his rifle squad when the leader became a casualty, Pvt. Sigler fearlessly led a bold charge against an enemy gun installation which had held up the advance of his company for several days and, reaching the position in advance of the others, assailed the emplacement with hand grenades and personally annihilated the entire crew. As additional Japanese troops opened fire from concealed tunnels and caves above, he quickly scaled the rocks leading to the attacking guns, surprised the enemy with a furious l-man assault and, although severely wounded in the encounter, deliberately crawled back to his squad position where he steadfastly refused evacuation, persistently directing heavy machinegun and rocket barrages on the Japanese cave entrances. Undaunted by the merciless rain of hostile fire during the intensified action, he gallantly disregarded his own painful wounds to aid casualties, carrying 3 wounded squad members to safety behind the lines and returning to continue the battle with renewed determination until ordered to retire for medical treatment. Stouthearted and indomitable in the face of extreme peril, Pvt. Sigler, by his alert initiative, unfaltering leadership, and daring tactics in a critical situation, affected the release of his besieged company from enemy fire and contributed essentially to its further advance against a savagely fighting enemy. His superb valor, resolute fortitude, and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice throughout reflect the highest credit upon Pvt. Sigler and the U.S. Naval Service.

The Medal of Honor was presented to PFC Sigler by President Harry S. Truman during ceremonies at the White House on 5 October 1945.

After his return to the U.S., he was hospitalized at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Bethesda, MD. Because of disabilities from the wounds he received in the battle, he was discharged from the Marine Corps at the rank of Private First Class in June 1946.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal

Death and Burial

Private First Class Franklin Earl Sigler died on 20 January 1995 at age 70. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 12, Lot 2799. He is buried a few yards from his brother, PFC William C. Sigler (1921-1943), who was killed in a traffic accident while on leave in New Zealand.

Honoree ID: 1647   Created by: MHOH




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