Medal of Honor

I had planned a series of articles this week about research and the writing process. But if you’re a writer, you must write, and today I found myself applying the Dr. McCoy test to ask whether I was a writer, or a blogger.

And then, of course, there’s the fact that I’m contemplating talking about heroes all this week. I don’t think there are any archives of heroism that could exceed the records of Medal of Honor recipients. If you want to find stories of real heroes, I urge you to visit the Congressional Medal of Honor site any time you think the world is only grim and dark and that everyone is out for themselves.

The text that follows is ALL © Copyright 2012 Congressional Medal of Honor Society. But the heroics belong to Lucian Adams. I picked him at random from the archive page of the web site. You can find equivalent tales about real life figures by clicking on any one of the names on the site. Many of the stories are likely to move you to tears. I urge you to visit. Marvel at their accomplishments and think of them any time someone sneers that there are no heroes. Honor their achievements, their sacrifices, and their memory.


Rank: Staff Sergeant

Organization: U.S. Army


Division: 30th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 28 October 1944, near St. Die, France. When his company was stopped in its effort to drive through the Mortagne Forest to reopen the supply line to the isolated third battalion, S/Sgt. Adams braved the concentrated fire of machineguns in a lone assault on a force of German troops. Although his company had progressed less than 10 yards and had lost 3 killed and 6 wounded, S/Sgt. Adams charged forward dodging from tree to tree firing a borrowed BAR from the hip. Despite intense machinegun fire which the enemy directed at him and rifle grenades which struck the trees over his head showering him with broken twigs and branches, S/Sgt. Adams made his way to within 10 yards of the closest machinegun and killed the gunner with a hand grenade. An enemy soldier threw hand grenades at him from a position only 10 yards distant; however, S/Sgt. Adams dispatched him with a single burst of BAR fire. Charging into the vortex of the enemy fire, he killed another machinegunner at 15 yards range with a hand grenade and forced the surrender of 2 supporting infantrymen. Although the remainder of the German group concentrated the full force of its automatic weapons fire in a desperate effort to knock him out, he proceeded through the woods to find and exterminate 5 more of the enemy. Finally, when the third German machinegun opened up on him at a range of 20 yards, S/Sgt. Adams killed the gunner with BAR fire. In the course of the action, he personally killed 9 Germans, eliminated 3 enemy machineguns, vanquished a specialized force which was armed with automatic weapons and grenade launchers, cleared the woods of hostile elements, and reopened the severed supply lines to the assault companies of his battalion.