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First Name: Joe

Last Name: Specker

Birthplace: Odessa, MO, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Odessa, MO
Middle Name: C.

Date of Birth: 10 January 1921

Date of Death: 07 January 1944

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served: 1942 - 1944
Joe C. Specker

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Joe C. Specker

Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Sergeant Joe C. Specker (10 January 1921 - 7 January 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.

Joe C. Specker was born on 10 January 1921 in Odessa, MO; he also joined the Army from that city. On 7 January 1944, he was serving as a Sergeant in the 48th Engineer Combat Battalion. At Mount Porchia, Italy, that day, he voluntarily went forward alone to destroy an enemy machine gun emplacement. Although severely wounded during his advance, he continued on and successfully routed the enemy force before succumbing to his wounds. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 48th Engineer Combat Battalion.

Place and date: At Mount Porchia, Italy, 7 January 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in action involving actual conflict. On the night of 7 January 1944, Sgt. Specker, with his company, was advancing up the slope of Mount Porchia, Italy. He was sent forward on reconnaissance and on his return he reported to his company commander the fact that there was an enemy machinegun nest and several well-placed snipers directly in the path and awaiting the company. Sgt. Specker requested and was granted permission to place 1 of his machineguns in a position near the enemy machinegun. Voluntarily and alone he made his way up the mountain with a machinegun and a box of ammunition. He was observed by the enemy as he walked along and was severely wounded by the deadly fire directed at him. Though so seriously wounded that he was unable to walk, he continued to drag himself over the jagged edges of rock and rough terrain until he reached the position at which he desired to set up his machinegun. He set up the gun so well and fired so accurately that the enemy machine-gun nest was silenced and the remainder of the snipers forced to retire, enabling his platoon to obtain their objective. Sgt. Specker was found dead at his gun. His personal bravery, self-sacrifice, and determination were an inspiration to his officers and fellow soldiers.

Death and Burial

Sergeant Joe C. Specker was killed in action on 7 January 1944. He is buried at Odessa Cemetery in his hometown of Odessa, MO.

Honoree ID: 1657   Created by: MHOH




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