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First Name: John

Last Name: Sjogren

Birthplace: Rockford, MI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Rockford, MI
Middle Name: Carleton

Date of Birth: 19 August 1916

Date of Death: 30 August 1987

Rank: Major

Years Served:
John Carleton Sjogren

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


John Carleton Sjogren

Major, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Major John Carleton Sjogren (19 August 1916 - 30 August 1987) was a U.S. Army soldier who received the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during the campaign to recapture the Philippines in World War II.

John Carleton Sjogren was born on 19 August 1916 in Rockford, MI; he also joined the Army at that city. On 23 May 1945, he was serving as a Staff Sergeant with Company I, 160th Infantry, 40th Infantry Division. Near San Jose Hacienda, Negros, Philippine Islands that day, while fighting against superior numbers Sjogren was able to kill 43 enemy soldiers; he also destroyed 9 pillboxes. For his acts of heroism he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 160th Infantry, 40th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near San Jose Hacienda, Negros, Philippine Islands, 23 May 1945.

Citation: He led an attack against a high precipitous ridge defended by a company of enemy riflemen, who were entrenched in spider holes and supported by well-sealed pillboxes housing automatic weapons with interlocking bands of fire. The terrain was such that only 1 squad could advance at one time; and from a knoll atop a ridge a pillbox covered the only approach with automatic fire. Against this enemy stronghold, S/Sgt. Sjogren led the first squad to open the assault. Deploying his men, he moved forward and was hurling grenades when he saw that his next in command, at the opposite flank, was gravely wounded. Without hesitation he crossed 20 yards of exposed terrain in the face of enemy fire and exploding dynamite charges, moved the man to cover and administered first aid. He then worked his way forward and, advancing directly into the enemy fire, killed 8 Japanese in spider holes guarding the approach to the pillbox. Crawling to within a few feet of the pillbox while his men concentrated their bullets on the fire port, he began dropping grenades through the narrow firing slit. The enemy immediately threw 2 or 3 of these unexploded grenades out, and fragments from one wounded him in the hand and back. However, by hurling grenades through the embrasure faster then the enemy could return them, he succeeded in destroying the occupants. Despite his wounds, he directed his squad to follow him in a systematic attack on the remaining positions, which he eliminated in like manner, taking tremendous risks, overcoming bitter resistance, and never hesitating in his relentless advance. To silence one of the pillboxes, he wrenched a light machinegun out through the embrasure as it was firing before blowing up the occupants with hand grenades. During this action, S/Sgt. Sjogren, by his heroic bravery, aggressiveness, and skill as a soldier, single-handedly killed 43 enemy soldiers and destroyed 9 pillboxes, thereby paving the way for his company's successful advance.

After the war, Sjogren joined the Michigan National Guard from 1949-53 where he rose to the rank of First Lieutenant and served in the Korean War. He attained the rank of Major before leaving the Guard.

Death and Burial

Major John Carleton Sjogren died on 30 August 1987. He is buried at Rockford Cemetery in Rockford, MI.

Honoree ID: 1649   Created by: MHOH




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