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First Name: Homer

Last Name: Wise

Birthplace: Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Baton Rouge, LA
Middle Name: Lee

Date of Birth: 27 February 1917

Date of Death: 22 April 1974

Rank: First Sergeant

Years Served: 1941 - 1945, 1947 - 1966
Homer Lee Wise

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Homer Lee Wise

First Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

First Sergeant Homer Lee Wise (27 February 1917 - 22 April 1974) was a U.S. Army soldier who was awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II.

Homer Lee Wise was born on 27 February 1917 in Baton Rouge, LA. He grew up with a love of hunting and fishing. He left school after the eighth grade and worked odd jobs in Texas. At age 24 in 1941, he enlisted in the U.S. Army at Baton Rouge.

From April to September 1943, Wise trained with the 36th Infantry Division in North Africa. He first entered combat on 9 September during the landings at Salerno, Italy, and continued to serve in the Italian Campaign for the next year. He fought in Naples and Rome and, on 7 January 1944, he was awarded the Silver Star.

On 14 June 1944, he was serving as a Staff Sergeant in Company L, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division. In Magliano, Italy, that day, Wise carried a wounded man to safety and repeatedly went ahead of his unit to engage the German forces alone. It was for his actions during this battle that he was later awarded the Medal of Honor. On 18 June, only four days after his Medal of Honor action, he suffered a shrapnel wound to the head and was awarded a Purple Heart.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company L, 142nd Infantry, 36th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Magliano, Italy, 14 June 1944.

Citation: While his platoon was pinned down by enemy small-arms fire from both flanks, he left his position of comparative safety and assisted in carrying 1 of his men, who had been seriously wounded and who lay in an exposed position, to a point where he could receive medical attention. The advance of the platoon was resumed but was again stopped by enemy frontal fire. A German officer and 2 enlisted men, armed with automatic weapons, threatened the right flank. Fearlessly exposing himself, he moved to a position from which he killed all 3 with his submachinegun. Returning to his squad, he obtained an M1 rifle and several antitank grenades, then took up a position from which he delivered accurate fire on the enemy holding up the advance. As the battalion moved forward it was again stopped by enemy frontal and flanking fire. He procured an automatic rifle and, advancing ahead of his men, neutralized an enemy machinegun with his fire. When the flanking fire became more intense he ran to a nearby tank and exposing himself on the turret, restored a jammed machinegun to operating efficiency and used it so effectively that the enemy fire from an adjacent ridge was materially reduced thus permitting the battalion to occupy its objective.

Wise was removed from combat in November and formally presented with the Medal of Honor by General Alexander Patch, Commander of the Seventh Army, in Épinal, France.

Beginning in August 1944, Wise participated in the Allied invasion of southern France. On 16 August he earned a Bronze Star; on 22 August he was awarded a second Purple Heart for a bullet wound inflicted by a sniper. He was shot by a sniper again on 22 September and given a third Purple Heart.

On 21 July 1945, he received an honorable discharge from the Army. Wise worked in Stamford, CT, until 1947, when he re-enlisted in the Army and served in various recruiting and administrative roles. He was the director of Army recruiting in Stamford through 1959 and was then sent to for a two-year tour from 1952 to 1954. He served in France from 1961 to 1963; was at Fort Devens, MA, from 1963 to 1965; and served in Italy from 1965 to 1966. He retired from the military on 21 December 1966, having reached the rank of First Sergeant. He then returned to Stamford, CT, to live.


While stationed at Camp Edwards in 1942 on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, Wise met Madolyn DiSesa. The couple became engaged in January 1943 and married on 12 February 1945. DiSesa was from Stamford, CT, and for the next 30 years they lived together in Stamford, having one child, a son, Jeffrey, in 1949. Jeffrey died in 1990 at age 40.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Silver Star Medal
Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device
Purple Heart (3)
Croce di Guerra (Italy)
Croix de Guerre (France)


Wise was one of six honorary pall bearers at the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknowns on 27 May 1958, presided over by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was also a guest of the President of the United States at the inaugurations of Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson.

A park at the corner of Chester and Bedford Streets in Stamford, CT, is dedicated as "Homer Lee Wise Memorial Park."

Death and Burial

First Sergeant Homer Lee Wise died on 22 April 1974 in Stamford at age 57 of congestive heart failure. He was buried at Saint John's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Darien, CT.

His widow, Madolyn, died in 2002.

Honoree ID: 1722   Created by: MHOH




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