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First Name: David

Last Name: Waybur

Birthplace: Oakland, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Crowder

Date of Birth: 1919

Date of Death: 28 March 1945

Rank: First Lieutenant

Years Served: 1940-1945
David Crowder Waybur

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


David Crowder Waybur

First Lieutenant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

First Lieutenant David Crowder Waybur (1919 - 28 March 1945) was a U.S. Army officer and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II.

David Crowder Waybur was from Piedmont, CA, and worked as a grocery store clerk and ranch hand before joining the military. He enlisted in the Army as a Private on 22 November 1940, but later became a commissioned officer. By the time of the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943, he was a First Lieutenant serving with the 3rd Reconnaissance Troop, 3rd Infantry Division.

On the night of 17 July 1943, one week after the invasion of Sicily began, Waybur volunteered to lead a reconnaissance patrol into enemy territory near Agrigento. The patrol, consisting of three Jeeps, was cut off and attacked by four Italian tanks. In the ensuing firefight, Waybur and three of his men were wounded, Waybur seriously so. When the patrol's three machine guns ran out of ammunition, he ordered his men to take cover and single-handedly disabled one tank by standing in the open and killing its crew with a Thompson submachine gun. After sending one patrol member to get help, Waybur continued to lead his men in holding off the three remaining tanks through the night. American reinforcements arrived in the morning, and the Italian tanks withdrew. Waybur was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle and the medal was formally presented to him by Lieutenant General Mark Wayne Clark, Commander of the Fifth Army, during a ceremony in North Africa later that year.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 3d Reconnaissance Troop, 3d Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Agrigento, Sicily, 17 July 1943.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action involving actual conflict with the enemy. Commander of a reconnaissance platoon, 1st Lt. Waybur volunteered to lead a 3-vehicle patrol into enemy-held territory to locate an isolated Ranger unit. Proceeding under cover of darkness, over roads known to be heavily mined, and strongly defended by road blocks and machinegun positions, the patrol's progress was halted at a bridge which had been destroyed by enemy troops and was suddenly cut off from its supporting vehicles by 4 enemy tanks. Although hopelessly outnumbered and out-gunned, and himself and his men completely exposed, he quickly dispersed his vehicles and ordered his gunners to open fire with their .30 and .50 caliber machineguns. Then, with ammunition exhausted, 3 of his men hit and himself seriously wounded, he seized his .45 caliber Thompson submachinegun and standing in the bright moonlight directly in the line of fire, alone engaged the leading tank at 30 yards and succeeded in killing the crewmembers, causing the tank to run onto the bridge and crash into the stream bed. After dispatching 1 of the men for aid he rallied the rest to cover and withstood the continued fire of the tanks till the arrival of aid the following morning.

Waybur was sent back to the U.S. to work on war bond tours, but he eventually asked to be returned to combat duty. He was killed in action in Germany on 28 March 1945.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Silver Star Medal
Purple Heart

Death and Burial

First Lieutenant David Crowder Waybur was killed in action on 28 March 1945. He is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in Saint-Avold, France, in E-22-24.

Honoree ID: 1705   Created by: MHOH




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